MACAULAY COBAIN “Macaulay Cobain”

In the grand tradition of musicians cheekily naming themselves after famous people – Paul Newman, Harvey Milk, Sissy Spacek, … Sandy Duncan’s Eye – this tape has been conceived and executed my none other than Macaulay Cobain, a musician so mischievous that he just had to grab two famous monikers instead of just one. You minx! Macaulay Culkin is totally rolling in his grave. (Wait, no, that’s the other one.)

Rubbing my hands together with glee, I opened the tape case in the hopes that the playfulness extends to the music. Upon first inspection, I’m not sure what to think. There’s not a lot of info on the tape itself – it’s orange, that’s a good start. The shell is soft plastic, so it didn’t break in transit. It works when you press “Play” on your tape deck. All good things.

The thin, repetitive backmasked guitar meditations that greeted my freaking ears were a bit of a letdown. There’s no mood developed. The passages don’t change. There’s no dynamics. The recording quality is poor. Neither side distinguishes itself from the other in any way.

Ah well. Maybe I was being presumptuous. Maybe Macaulay’s parents – Mr. and Mrs. Cobain – really did bestow that moniker upon him, and he wasn’t being a jokester by recording under it. Maybe Macaulay is as sincere as he can get, and he’s just starting out with the whole meditative guitar thing. A noble pursuit for sure, but apparently you can’t just dive in. Keep trying, Macaulay, whoever you are!

--Ryan Masteller