“The Answer Is You"

Not gonna lie; I give away, swap, or attempt to sell off the vast majority of tapes I receive for review. I’m now sitting on around 300 hundred exceptional cassettes that I (currently) feel are just too goddamn good to leave in Li’l Free Libraries or sell without first chatting the ear off of the new proud parent that I’m giving them up to, those in this second set. But the first set, the ones that are good-but-y’know, nothing I’ll ever choose to listen to on purpose again, these I try & sell at Econo Jam Records, in downtown Oakland.

EJR are a pretty rad, punk-oriented, all vinyl/cassette shop, with some stereo equipment & a few zines, to boot, & EJR is where I was given a tape by one of their employees who figured I might dig it, since I dug that Red Bolatiero comp put out by said EJR employee’s friend who has something or other to do with Teen Action Records.

Still slightly out of sorts from pretending I’m not too old to now to party with old bandmates visiting from Pittsburg, PA, I didn’t quite catch the name, as it was hand-written (and somewhere along the line, smudged off the plastic case), but, after some probing (aka Facebook messaging EJR direct), I’m now able to spread the good word that is Hiss &Hum!

The inner J-Card & lone liner note is a psychedelic collage of printed copy, with primary color blotch accents, which pretty much sums up the weird sonic soundscapes within, these, composed solely of blown out of proportion guitar distortions, warped synth loops and a haunting, equally disorienting series of Self-Help/Savior samples, whose words are barely legible to the ear, but whose tones/intents are crystal clear & (mis)guiding against the underlying hypnotic, noisy melodies beneath. Great to get lost in & never look back.

RIYL: Starlite Coffins, Zomes, dirty Shoegaze guitar tones, melodic feedback & dissonant harmonies, distorted impersonal epiphanies


-- Jacob An Kittenplan