In January ’22, US based retro rockers The Cheap Cassettes released their full length album ‘Ever Since Ever Since’. It wasn’t perfect, but in amongst the no-frills riffs, there were enough top tier tunes to impress lovers of their previous works.
When Cheap Cassettes first appeared on the power pop scene with their ‘All Anxious All The Time’ album, they didn’t really sound ready to be appreciated by the world at large. The demo quality recordings had spirit, but the song writing wasn’t great, and the overall package lacked the necessary hooks to make it memorable. A few of years on, the ‘See Her In Action’ EP was a massive improvement on every level. The short collection of songs provided riff after riff of classic retro sounds; the choruses were big and – overall – Cheap Cassettes’ quick and cheap approach to recording showed a massive confidence. For lovers of middle period Replacements, Boston heroes Watts and The Dirty Truckers, the Cheapos were now pretty much guaranteed to bring a thrill or six.
It’s only been a few weeks since Rum Bar Records gave out the excellent ‘XOXOXO, Volume One’ sampler showcasing some of their current roster and upcoming releases, but the label is already giving away yet more music to satisfy your underground rock and pop needs.
‘Rocktober II’ features a few current bits and pieces, but in a brilliant contrast to ‘XOXOXO’, it digs much further back into the label’s history, providing a superb recap for those who’ve only just discovered Rum Bar and their family of musicians.
Everything about The Cheap Cassettes’ first full length album ‘All Anxious, All The Time’ did, indeed, scream “cheap”. It’s ten songs sounded like old demos and the choice of artwork – complete with basic Microsoft Word style font – really didn’t give the strongest first impression. However, if you were able to make it past those cosmetic flaws, some of the songs suggested a retro band with a big heart and an even bigger gift for delivering a hook.
Their ‘Kiss The Ass of My Heart’ EP – delivered some four years later, via the Rum Bar Records label – presented a marked improvement. The core of the material came with a much better audio quality and in the case of the title track, it almost felt as if you were eavesdropping on a long lost demo from The Knack. From such rough beginnings, it was more than clear that The Cheap Cassettes were a band with great promise…and indeed, the EP gained some really positive – and well deserved – press from various power pop blogs around the globe.