PEOPLE WITH BODIES “s/t” C18 (self-released)

How does one reconcile oneself with living in Reno, Nevada? It’s a sad place to be – the biggest little city in the world, don’tcha know it, as if it doesn’t quite have the confidence to grow and be better than it ought to be. People with Bodies, a duo comprised of Kent Irwin and Fil Corbitt, even hint at the malaise in “Invisible Hand,” the second song on their self-titled four-song cassette, suggesting that the best city planners can do is build “bigger strip malls with brighter stuff.” If that doesn’t sound like a numbing prospect to you – standing there in front of it, watching suburbia sprawl and then decay with a rapidity and efficiency that primes every ounce of disillusion in your soul – then I don’t know what you’ve been doing with your life. Living in a hippie commune?

People with Bodies manifest a dusty pop vibe in their songs, at once upbeat and windswept like a smiling desert hiker first thing in the morning. If the Ass Ponys were still around and making Electric Rock Music, and if they transported themselves from Cincinnati to more dry western climes, then we could have a magnetic double bill at whatever the most popular big little casino is that Reno has to offer. Is it Harrah’s? Atlantis? One of the other ones on the list I just googled? As long as it has a decent concert hall, I guess. And, fun fact, did you realize that “Reno” and “casino” rhyme, as if a more perfect match was never conceived? I didn’t until now.

So relax with your casino talk, pretend you have confidence in yourself, and check out this People with Bodies tape. It even ends with a mournful acoustic campfire tune, “New Border,” which features Andrew Marin and Christopher Stehman, on acoustic guitar and upright bass respectively. How western! I like the sound of that.

--Ryan Masteller