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Used Cassettes - Rock n Rills

by Mark Steele Rating:9 Release Date:2016-05-12

Well, it's as though it was no difficult task to make an effective rock record for South Korean noise-unit Used Cassettes. Made up of Danny Arens, Matt Spence, Ollie Walker, and Patrick Walsh. The first thing you notice with this 12-track record is how there is a dynamic mix of 60s garage quirkiness, 70's punk rock rawness, and in some ways a college frat party atmosphere.

We start off with 'At Barcelona'  a melodic, laid-back accompaniment which throws on top some  dapper swagger. When the heavy guitars and rhythm section kick in, plus random freaky lead guitar, it gives the impression that Used Cassettes don't take themselves too seriously. Readily evident on 'President' are intense, hard-driving punk guitars underneath snappy, tongue-in-cheek New York Dolls style narratives, that cement the notion of this band as being a lot of fun.
 
Township beats on 'Sergio Leone'  coupled with elastic overdriven guitar and organ riffs , with it's cool cat crooning, could indeed be a Rolling Stones, with Carlos Santana jam . It's chorus is particularly catchy: "Drag my leather across the ground/move my legs and they gather round/ I'm not scared of walking". A stinging guitar lick leads into a MC5 -ish stoner stomp on two minute wonder , 'Wasted',  with vocals sounding part Television's Richard Hell and part Mick Jagger.

A relationship reflection in a dusky jazz guitar on 'Ducati', has the request of selling  'everything but my  pride and joy motorcycle'. Additionally on The Eagles-esque old flame ballad 'Amy', a four chord guitar pattern carries the intensity along.

There are some blatantly obvious Rolling Stones/The Stooges influences on the album, so when you hear  'She Got Burned' it does carry you back to an earlier era  of a no-frills good time boogie experience . It Equally rocks on the abrupt 'Pat Walsh Is Here', raging guitars and drums, similarly,  the dark menacing surf-rock featured on 'Whip Of The Master' imposes itself via relentless motorik drums rumbling underneath a climatic layered guitar assault.
 
The calm to discordant guitars wrangling on 'Ghost Stories' creates tension and release in  a a perceived fear stuggle of a close acquiantenace. A nod to Roxy Music meets Lou Reed on the first section of  'I'm Insane', which then  ends with a mock neurotic preacher rant, then straight into the rebel rousing finale album title 'Rock n Rills' which quite frankly fires on all cylinders.

Rock N Rills is a lively downtown rock n roll record, full of bite and humour. Used Cassettes have captured that vintage feel-good rock essence, which to hear live, would be a very rewarding experience. Let's hope they crack on putting together a world tour real soon.  

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