FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m friends with one-half of Cassette Fighter. (I’m a well-wisher of the other half… we just haven’t talked a whole lot or anything. It’s not a drama thing or anything. Sorry for being boring!) That said, everything I say is true and what I’d say if I didn’t know any members of the band at all. Also, a very close friend did the cover art. So there’s that too.
I’ve been really digging The Plague & Beekeeping, the debut EP from Cassette Fighter. I’m a sucker for synth-based music anyway, so I’m kind of predisposed to like this. There’s a little bit of a Kumquat vibe here on the opening track, “The Big Hate” with its use of sampling to create a vocal track for a wonderfully dreamy track. “Motorik” features the famous beat that gives the song its name, though it could use some additional beefing up with some acoustic instruments as well, to be a bit more Krautrocky. “A Lonely Walk In The Woods”, though, is a lovely pop song with a sketch of a lyric that complements the sound of the track nicely, adding a nice dose of the sinister — an always useful ingredient.
“Garotica”, another instrumental, is more successful than “Motorik”; the melody is stronger and the arrangement has a bit more for the listener to get in to. It feels…. right. If anything, it’s a little bit too short; I felt a bit of sadness when the fade came in. “Too Good To Be False” is another sample-driven song, though it feels a bit more slight than “The Big Hate” — but it’s still pretty good. It sounds a little half-finished, though — like it’s missing something, but something unknown.
The EP comes with two bonuses — the extra track, “This Song Has No Name”, another instrumental with seaside samples, and their first music video for the non-EP single “Celestial Mechanics”. Both of these are high-quality as well and should probably be thought of as being on the EP proper. After all, the music video features public domain clips interspersed with footage demonstrating the band name — and who doesn’t want to see someone kick a tape’s ass?