Monday, May 10, 2010

Be Kind, Rewind: Civil Civic and Dom

2009 was the worst year in the history of cassette sales, or at least since 1991 when such SoundScan began collecting such data.  How bad was it?  Last year 34,000 albums were sold on cassette tape, down from 8.6 2004!  A similarly dramatic disappearance from the culture of a previously pervasive technology is difficult to recall.  This, of course, has opened the door for cassette-as-fetish-object in the indie world; no less an iconic figure than Thurston Moore recently stated that he "only listen[s] to cassettes," and keepers of cool like Dirty Projectors and Deerhunter have released albums on magnetic tape within the last year.  It is no surprise then, giving the format's upsurge in cool combined with its ease of use as a recording device, that several up-and-comers have chosen cassette as one of the media by which to disseminate their work.  Two such bands (from whom you'll likely be hearing more in the months to come) are highlighted below:

Dom is a three-piece outfit from Worcester, Mass whose EP Sun Bronzed Greek Gods will soon be released on vinyl via Burning Mill Records and is currently available for download at eMusic.  Prior to digital release, however, the album was given a limited release on cassette; these cassettes have all been sold.  If you happen to be in possession of one, hang on to it: given the immediacy of the band's hooks, we expect big things in the future.  There is a clear debt to the Pixies and perhaps even more greatly to the Breeders, but such comparisons often do bands a disservice.  Mostly, they just write great songs.  Included below are two cuts from the EP.  The second cut happens to be the face-off song for the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.

Dom - Rude As Jude

Dom - Bochicha

Civil Civic is a London via Barcelona (aren't we all?) band comprised of two humans and several machines.  Their debut EP 1 (the cover of which graces the top of this post) was recently given a limited cassette release as well, and a multi-colored one at that.  They are a fascinating band to whom name-check comparisons do a disservice.  Suffice it to say that the music is danceable without being designed for the dance floor and rocks without being designed for the Bowery.  Although all five tunes are on the EP are instrumental, somehow you will find yourself singing along.  If you can't get a hold of the tape version, the record is available for digital download on the band's website for a pay-what-you-will price.  Included below is lead track "Less Unless."

Civil Civic - Less Unless


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