Doffing their caps to The Dead Boys, The Real Kids, & early Blondie, we ask: "Is this the best cryogenically-frozen-and-reanimated band of 2017?"
Cheap Cassettes – “All Anxious, All The Time” – Rum Bar Records 2017
I have a theory about The Cheap Cassettes – it’s a little bit off the wall, but hear me out…
It’s 1979. Three guys from Seattle, raised on The Dead Boys, The Zeros, The Real Kids and early Blondie get lost in a snowdrift or an avalanche or something. Anyway, they get cryogenically frozen – like Walt Disney’s head, right? Only it’s by accident. They’re frozen for like, 35 years until some guy walking his dog finds them and thaws them out. And they’re a band, did I mention that? So, they start rehearsing again (after being re-integrated into modern society and all that stuff) and they make a record. And this is it.
In the world of The Cheap Cassettes, Hair Metal, New Romantic, Post Punk, Nu Metal and anything else that happened post 1980 doesn’t count for anything. Except maybe The Replacements. Yeah, definitely The Replacements.
I know it didn’t happen like that, but I defy anyone who listens to “All Anxious, All The Time” (Album Title of the Year, 2017) to not think that – just for a second or two. They’ve made a great, raw sounding, loud Pop record. The bass goes boom, the guitars riff nicely and the drumkit is Clem Burked into submission. I didn’t think anyone made records like this anymore. It also sounds like it was made in someone’s garage when Ma and Pa were out at work.
There is a lot to love about this record – the title track starts off like Booker T and the MGs and then mutates into something that Paul Westerberg wishes he’d written. “Wreckless” has a nervy, New Wave feel – all crunchy guitars and singalong melodies. “Good and Shitty” (another great title…) combines an insistent Tom Verlaine riff with some uppercut rhythm guitar. And that’s just for starters. I was slightly confused by “Sieg Heil Means I Love You” because a) It doesn’t, and b) it sounds a lot like The Romantics or one of those groups of cute dudes with product-laden hair and almost matching outfits. And leather pants. But, you can forgive the CC’s as they been frozen in ice since 1979…oh no, I made that up, didn’t I?
Here’s the headline. If you saw this band in a bar and you’d had, say, four beers, you’d think they were the best band in the world. Right up until the hangover. But sober or drunk, this is a great rock and roll record.