Thursday, April 22, 2021

Cassette Review //
XTR HUMAN
"INTERIOR"
(Blackjack Illuminist Records)



€8 //
Edition of 30 //

Right away, "INTERIOR" opens up with this song which is right out of the 1980's and it just takes me back.   There is a synthwave/shoegaze way about this distorted song but I'm thinking back to a time when Rodney Dangerfield was alive and so was Michael Jackson.  Back to simpler times because I was younger.  Back to when record contracts meant the label paying for you to tour.   I think about how much things might have changed, and yet with artists like Bloody Knives as an example, I feel like this sound never really went away.

"On A Greater Scale" has more of an upbeat, dreamy feel to it that will just take you away.   I think one of the more difficult aspects of understanding music is that I can type that it is synthwave and then you just expect- based on that general statement- that all of the songs would sound similar.  But there are ways in which the songs sound the same without having them all follow that same pattern and so there is variety within the connection.    This is already made apparent on this cassette by the second song.

As "New Dawn" starts I'm thinking of a more moody version of The B-52's, but then there are also elements of a band such as Talking Heads, which makes this feel a little bit punk before it goes all completely blissed out like The Consolation Project or something from a more modern genre meeting the past.   A round of applause can be heard before "Masks Of Faith" and if you've ever watched a movie in the 1980's or 1990's which had someone like Molly Ringwald or Anthony Michael Hall in it and you enjoyed the soundtrack then this will be perfect for you.  But it also just has this faster vibe in the music as well, which brings it more towards the present.

The sounds of a storm end the fourth song and take us into all the bells and loud sounds of "On Miracles", which is just a Verve/David Bowie-like anthem.   On the flip side, we start with a song called "Dreams" in which the hook says "I want to cherish you / But I have to wave goodbye".   This is, in some large way, the synthwave version of "No Scrubs" by TLC if you really think about it.   This takes us into a song called "Hearst" which is about someone who looks like Patty Hearst and that's definitely a reference I didn't think I'd be seeing but I'm here for it.

While "Giants" has more of the whispering vocals with the tones you can hear coming through in an almost fun way, "Darkest Side" comes through much heavier, faster paced and just with a certain amount of energy which should allow you to get up out of your seat and move.   There is still some energy within "Goodbye" and some great guitar riffs as we are informed "I'm not afraid to die".   Having a final song called "Goodbye" is always a nice send off and this cassette just doesn't seem to let up as it should just be played full blast with maximum energy.  















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