Thursday, July 27, 2006

MUSIC: Forget Cassettes

Here's a sweet little band out of Nashville that's sure to make you recall the tones of recently-disbanded Sleater-Kinney (among other excellent bands). Forget Cassettes is a three piece (see evidence in photo, exhibit A above) with lead female vocals and a knack for constructing songs that consistently push and pull. I like the Nashville Rage's write-up:

Nashville's Forget Cassettes was born from the ashes of Fair Verona when guitarist/vocalist Beth Cameron and drummer Doni Schroader decided to push on in a more adventurous direction. For some time the duo has been a hot commodity live. The fact that Schroader often drums with one hand and plays lines on a Rhodes electric piano with the other makes his ferocious drumming all the more spectacular. Beth's tiny frame belies the angst she's capable of projecting both through her voice and guitar.

If anything, Forget Cassettes first full-length, Instruments Of Action (out now on local Theory 8 Records), is a refutation of the premise that bands that are so dynamic live are impossible to capture on tape. Instruments of Action not only catches the energy the band gives off live, but also gives the band the space to explore their minimal instrumentation.

In the title track, you can hear the room noise around the drums and guitar. As a result, Beth's voice sounds as if she's standing right in front of you. And while Ms. Rhythm and Blues exudes a definite Sleater-Kinney influence in its rhythm and voice, A Legacy's Demise pushes the band into its own undiscovered territory - winding guitar lines and electric piano around a haunting, quiet voice. Bruce Wayne begins with a chilling scream, proving Beth's voice is the sort of expressive instrument for which most bands would kill.

Every song on the record benefits from complex, twisting arrangements that frustrate the verse-chorus-verse standard. This combined with the band's ability to switch from quiet meditation to full-on rock riff show off their careful musicianship and will to make rock music just as complicated and expressive as the subjects of their lyrics.

Take a listen for yourself, you won't be disappointed.

::: Forget Cassettes - Quiero, Quieres (highly rec'd)
::: Forget Cassettes - Venison
::: Forget Cassettes - The Catch

You can buy their debut album ("Instruments of Action") here or pre-order their new album ("Salt", out on August 8) here.