Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Cassette Review //
Keith Hanlon
"An Eternity Of This"
(Scioto Records)


$7 //

Edition of 30 //

https://keithhanlon.bandcamp.com/album/an-eternity-of-this //


There is a darkness when this cassette starts.   It sets the mood for there being no light as the sound is minimal and grows with these guitar notes which make me feel like we're in an ominous old western but also there is just something haunted about this, like a horror film along the lines of "The Thing".    Notes ring, like echoes in the emptiness.   The drumming comes in now and it feels like it's created a faster pace while the more minimal ambient sounds still stir behind it.   The guitar notes begin to burn through now and it feels like we're moving into an electronic rock song.   Those same solemn notes which have been here almost the entire time continue to drop though.  

We go now into a song which has guitar notes in a row like that one Metallica song everyone can play on guitar.   Then these blissed out chords join in and I'm think of Porno For Pyros, but also just place this in a sunny, tropical setting- which is such a departure from the first song.  While what sounded like a darker, almost sad type of sound began this cassette we have now made our way into a somewhat happier song- or at least more upbeat compared to the sounds which came before it on this specific cassette.   In the broader sense of music, this probably ranks up there with the likes of The Cure on levels of dark happiness.

Notes can drop off into distortion and this one has some melody in it as well.   It plays like a song which if it had lyrics would be slowcore, but it also makes me think of a rock band which heavily relies on having that blend of distortion and melody such as Weezer.  It feels like only overlapping guitars on this song but it still creates a sound big enough to fill a room and I like that about it as well.

A quieter sound of muffled noise now kicks off the next song.   As it somewhat grows it can sound like a motor starting up and then takes off like a jet engine.   This could almost be a landscape sound, like the field recording of a street which isn't busy but vehicles drive fast on.   A lone car on a racetrack.    More ambient tones come through in an almost droning way and then there are the sounds of percussion behind it.   We've created a semi-haunted sound which appears to be taking off into space.

We have a steady rhythm which is highlighted by galactic notes dropping off like shooting stars.   It's atmospheric and makes me want to just put it on while being in an open field somewhere late at night looking up at the stars and constellations.   It's chill, but the percussion is enough to keep you going.   There is a little bit of magic in there as well.    Then it all just drops off into the sound of the ocean- waves and birds.    With a little bit of talking, the first side comes to an end.  

On the flip side we kick things off with this ominous hue which just seems to glow.  There are guitar strums in here as well and it seems like we could drift off into a Pink Floyd song at any moment.   There is a little bit of ringing now, through some distorted waves.   It feels like we're at the beach but perhaps at the beach on a different planet so that it feels familiar but is not entirely the same.    As we wind through these ambient drones some deeper tones fill the background along those lighter guitar strums.    It can feel as if we're fading off into the abyss but with that it does also just feel as if we're floating, relaxing in an ocean without a care in the world.

Throughout all of this it seems like we hit this point where a piano can be heard that begins to make me think of "The Fragile" era Nine Inch Nails, particularly going into "The Great Below".   It seems like I go through a month or two of just really rocking that album during the winter time, so perhaps this cassette is also built for the winter and cold months out of the year.    

It sounds as if we have started the next track and there are a few sounds which echo and make me think of a horror film such as "Friday the 13th" though it could just be mechanical.   Guitar notes ring through now, loudly and a little bit shaking.    There is a triumphant feel to this darkness, like we've fought in a great war and have won but when you win in war you still lose something, you know?   Those "Friday the 13th" type sounds return behind this but it just feels like it has turned into a lovely piano piece somehow.

This takes on a bit of a hypnotic loop now, with the piano part, but it's nice.   It's relaxing and it can allow your mind to wander.    At times it can just feel like this one is walking, where you want to keep moving while you're listening to it even if the pace itself is not that fast.   I'm reminded of an old film in black and white from the silent era of movies.   Through static I hear some words I think and then the seagulls again so I feel like much like the first side this peaceful journey of a cassette has ended with the ocean.  











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