“Growing Up Dub Vol. 1” C40
(Juniper Tree Songs)

"Growing Up In Dub"
Layers upon layers upon layers of effects-heavy, dirty, psychedelic guitars compete with myriad synth lines, those, in turn, competing with a chorus of pavement-esque vocals, all these overtop tasteful drums and bass, just trying to hold down the fort, but muddily filling it all out even further. Frankly, I’m surprised the magnetic tape doesn’t weigh more with all this stuff packed in so tight. You gotta listen with headphones to hear all the subtleties buried in there. Yeesh!


split tape
This album is so rockin' and weird. I guess it's two different bands, but they compliment one another to the point it kinda sounds like one band. Sorta like Andre 3000 and Big Boi, that kinda relationship, right? I dunno anything about the bands, I'm just going by the cassette itself. Not looking at the internet. 

It gives off B-52 vibes if the B-52s were forever stuck in a gypsy's curse to record the soundtrack to "Carnival of Souls" through a salvation army steal 4-track. Early Devo, from when they were still freaked and angry about the Kent State Massacre, is a very apparent comparison here due to the combination of electric beats with mathy guitar hooks, be them distorted dissonant scales or flamenco acoustic. Lots of "Microwave oven" beats over wackadoo tremolo or reverbed microphones. De-evolved for sure.

And yet it's all very lo-fi, gives off a guy in his bedroom feel and always remains in some pop song structure, no matter how out there it gets (and this cassette gets there, trust me). Better yet; a phantom in his opera due to the major use of reverb throughout the cassette. The melodies usually maintain a rough blues scale/drive.

There are some interesting shifts in tempo that are gradually shifted, a difficult feat. It's hard to tell how many people are playing on this.

This album has moments of face melting space strategically placed between vocal lyrics. Synths are used minimally to give a sustained strings section to guitar "chug-chug-chug" that is lightly fuzzed. For brief moments there's cosmic reference, but it's fleeting as the album translates to the mechanic, rhythmic blues & noise & roll. Gnarly.

I was looking through the cassettes I could review and I wasn't having any of them. Lots of cliche house music from amateurs. Thank god this weird ass cassette got in my hands. This album rules. It's like if 1994 Beck didn't sign with a major record label and didn't join Scientology and went even further combining genres of rock/pop/noise.

Oh God, the flanger on this album is so hyper gross! But like in a good way, right? Know what I'm sayin'?

Geez, I am not doing this review justice. It's beyond my ability to describe, this album! I fail! This one's too rockin' and weird. That's all I can say. Rockin' and weird. If you like those two things (which you probably do because you're at this blog) you'll probably like this album. It's also complex. Like, not weird in a superficial way, complex. Damn. Pick up this one, cassette gods. Over and out.

Listen to it here:
Buy it here:

-- Jack Turnbull