If you’re looking for a reason to feel superior, buying cassette-only releases is definitely the way to go. It’s right on the line between old-fashioned and just plain ridiculous, but also, it’s still pretty neat to hear. I’ve gotten a few over the past few years, and I can confirm that you’re not buying tapes for the sound quality. It’s either because of borrowed nostalgia and assumed cultural superiority (see above), or because you like hearing thick analog warping coming from the shitty tape deck you’ll inevitably be using to play your cassettes because the rest of humanity has realized how antiquated magnetic tape is.
I’d like to think I’m in the latter group, but I think my water-damaged copy of the Bee Gees Greatest Hits puts me in both categories. Barry Gibb’s corrupted falsetto sounds like a beautiful pile of satanic feces, though.
But anyway, Big Hush is who I’m really here to talk to you about. I’m not sure whether the name or the music came first, but it definitely fits the DC-area group. Their latest EP, Wholes, sounds like a lost relic from the mid-90s slowcore scene. Everything just rings and rings, and even when things get loud, the vocals are still unabashedly gentle. The fuzz and distortion are there, but everything gets redirected into softer territory — you can hear what sounds like a sludgy metal song winding up at the beginning of “Honey,” until the riffs start to jangle and the song sounds like smile on a rainy day.
Check out the whole of Wholes below via bandcamp before it gets released on 11/22 by DZ Tapes.