0023 – Reverb Adrenaline – We’ll Sleep When We’re Dead – Cassette Tape Review

Reverb Adrenaline Cassette Review

Artist: Reverb Adrenaline                            
Album: We’ll Sleep When We’re Dead
Label: Levitation Records & Tapes
Release Date: Jan 1, 2013
Format: Cassette Tape

This tape was a freebie from Levitation Records & Tapes, thrown in when I ordered the previously reviewed Charcoal Squids Cassette. The cover art features a paisley brown wash design and clean typography. The tape is a copper brown color with paper stick on labels marked “This side” and “That side.” According to the fine print on the cassette label this tape was recorded in “3Deep Space Full Alien Sound.” I’m guessing the interface with the aliens lead to the abundance of reverb jamminess throughout this recording!

Analog Music Review Cassette in Forest

The first track, titled “On The Road,” opens with a wash of jangly guitars and vocals. The beat has a super chill and plodding feel, once to the halfway point the guitars really open up, making for some huge and beautiful guitar work. Sonically the riffage just melts in my ears!

Next up is the track “Golden.” The guitars bring forth an almost underwater level of reverb. This song is a bit more straight forward garage rock than the previous.

Next up is the third track, “For Your Love.” Leading in with a rambling guitar line and the vocals shortly thereafter. The song has a plodding repetitive rhythm, repeating the main guitar line for most of the track.

“Tallest Highrise” has a super chill vibe, the drums and guitars are mixed below the vocals, giving this track a different feel. I would say ethereal, ever moving forward, ever moving up, consistently moving higher and further out, ending with a fade among the clouds….

 “I’m Gone,” an instrumental, closes out the first side. This song slowly comes into existence with an epic long fade from nothing, reaching full volume at about a minute or more. Once at full volume the guitars shine; featuring powerful, long, chords. The payoff from the long build culminates with crashing symbols, full drum kit, and loud guitars, all done just in time to flip the tape.

Reverb Adrenaline Music Review Cassette on Rock

The second side brings “Head Full,” right out the gate the sound has shifted into a more straight forward rock feel. The song melds into a garage rock frenzy, simple bass and drums with spacey guitars and vocals, an definitive change in sound from the earlier tracks. The song fades out in a satisfying wash of feedback.

“Fall With Me” dives in with a straight forward rock beat. Everything is soaked in reverb. Bass and drums keep the rhythm while everything else washes around the outside. The next track, second to last, titled “There’s No Us,” consists of strummed guitar with tambourine accompaniment for the rhythm. Spaced out guitars slide in and out with various tones and sounds on the peripherals of the mix, meanwhile the vocals sit just over top.

The closing track, titled “Xy,” plods into existence. I would call it a space western sound, leading me to think: maybe this was recorded in a smoky bar on some far off planet. I like the looseness of this track, way more jammy. The looseness is a refreshing finish to this album.

Great production throughout the tape, the songs would be perfect for a long rambling road trip. So, go get lost in the woods with this stuck in the tape deck and let the reverb guide you. The full album is up on YouTube and Spotify, look below for links.

Reverb Adrenaline Cassette in Tree

Reverb Adrenaline Spotify

Reverb Adrenaline Youtube

Reverb Adrenaline Facebook

Photos by Nibiinabekwe – The Healy Hardwoods, Montmorency County, Michigan.
Photos by Nibiinabekwe – The Healy Hardwoods, Montmorency County, Michigan.

0014 – Charcoal Squids – Self Titled Cassette

Charcoal Squids Self Titled Cassette Tape

Artist: Charcoal SquidsCassette Tape Charcoal Squids in the snow
Album: Self Titled
Label: Levitation Recording & Tapes and Ghost Carrot Records
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Format: Cassette Tape

Previously I had never heard of Levitation Recording & Tapes or of the Charcoal Squids. One of the exciting parts of this blog is reaching out of my known territories and discovering new bands and labels. I take enjoyment exploring DIY small runs of cassettes, with bands I have yet to hear of. This cassette I picked purely off of the write-up on a web store and the cool factor of the artwork, this looked like the dirtiest nastiest of the bunch! Psychedelic surf? Sure why not!

Pink Cassette in the SnowThe cassette itself is a sweet magenta color, with paper labels in a clear case, with slick looking J-card. DIY as F in the best way, the text and fonts on the J-card give that underwater feel, preparing the eyes and ears for the oncoming sonic adventure! This tape was put out in a limited release of 100 from both Levitation Recording & Tapes and Ghost Carrot Records from Missoula, MT. Well laid out, recorded, and packaged – the trifecta for DIY tapes.

The sound these guys create is a noisy, psychedelic, surf extravaganza. Listening to this modern take on surf is really refreshing. This is what I imagine you would get if you took a standard dirty, smelly garage band and dropped them overboard to be soaked in ocean fuzz. Fuzzy hooks soaked in reverb, dragging along the ocean floor, occasionally popping out with some explosion of insanity.Charcoal Squids Cassette in Snow

The recording of the album is spot on! I could hear all the nuances in the recordings, and all instruments share the space well. I really struggled with breaking the different songs apart and picking favorites. When I listen to the album it all just flows together really well. It plays in a seamless way that makes the entire album listenable as a piece. No one hit wonders here, you must take the whole journey!

Charcoal Squids Cassette Hanging in TreeThat being said the hooks in “Peppermint Spiders” bounce and stick in my brain like a half eaten candy cane sticks to a wrapper. Simple, clean riffs full of fuzz and hazy hooks. This fully encapsulates what is the great uniqueness that is Charcoal Squids and the soundscape that they meld! So, after close examination, I can choose that as my favorite track.

I look forward to delving further into the catalog of these guys! Links below for the music and more!

Charcoal Squids Cassette Snow and Sun



Charcoal Squids Bandcamp

Charcoal Squids Facebook

Levitation Recording & Tapes

Ghost Carrot Records



Camp 8 Road Atlanta, MI Snow by Nibiinabekwe
Photos by Nibiinabekwe. Camp 8 Road • Atlanta, Michigan.

0004 – Boris – Live At Third Man Records

Artist: Boris
Album: Live At Third Man Records
Label: Third Man Records
Release Date: Nov 29th 2017
Format: Vinyl LP

This album Boris – Live At Third Man Records, along with the next I will review, are special to me. I got a chance to see this tour that they were recorded on. Boris is by far one of my most loved bands and with the addition of seeing them with Earth, I considered this a once in a Continue reading “0004 – Boris – Live At Third Man Records”