Why cassette is the perfect medium for Philly drone jammers Harsh Vibes (playing Kung Fu Necktie on 8/22)
Even though it’s been a trend for the past five years, when a band releases a cassette tape in 2013, it still feels a bit archaic, or at least novelty. But for Fishtown’s drone-psych noise explorers Harsh Vibes, who recently put out their second cassette in seven months, it’s actually the appropriate format for this dense, four-song journey into dark and shadowy places.
Two tracks from Dead Collective Soul from Dirty Pillows Records are available on Harsh Vibes’ Bandcamp page. The tape’s title suggests a recurring theme for Harsh Vibes. Their first tape, released in December 2012, Psychedelic Gin Blossoms, also clearly references the now-defunct 1990’s rock band of “Hey Jealousy” fame.
The nearly twelve-minute “Jam Forever,” sounds more structured than the title suggests. It lays down a landscape of indistinct vocals, highs climaxes with crashing cymbals, over-fuzzed guitar and low points with murmuring synths throughout. The third song on the tape, “Hidden Doors,” is a bit more conventional in that it has a clear melody. These tracks are best when examined from start to finish, taking in each psychedelic nuance, which is why the cassette format fits it so well. Because, really, no one wants to fast forward and rewind to find the start of the next track. Just let Dead Collective Soul play and don’t interrupt it.
Harsh Vibes play Kung Fu Necktie Thurs., August 22, 8 p.m., $10, w/ Survival & Sore Saints.