Cassette Corner is a column devised and constructed by Modern Vinyl contributor Matt Bergeron. Centering on his love for another vintage format, cassette tapes, Matt will be looking at the various and notable tape releases available (or previously available) to readers. This month, he’s looking at selections from I Used To Be A Sparrow, Muscle and Bone, and Vows.
I Used To Be A Sparrow – You Are An Empty Artist
Released On Jeremy Records in March of 2013, this wonderfully theatrical full length is a bright ray of hope in a somewhat repetitive scene. You Are An Empty Artist is a modern rock gem, mixing the band’s indie feel with the best parts of the more radio friendly sounds of Passion Pit, The Postal Service, and Bon Iver. Pop this cassette in your deck and your ears will be taken on a roller coaster ride of soaring soundscapes and beautifully ominous vocal stylings.
The solid purple cassette is housed in a matching tinted case. Taking full advantage of every inch of this three panel insert, Jeremy Records has put out a quality product that may have reset the standards for a cassette release. You Are An Empty Artist is a must have for any cassette collector.
Muscle And Bone – S/T
Bitter Melody Records
Released on Bitter Melody Records in late 2012, Muscle and Bone’s five track EP is filled with some of the best emo laden sounds of present day, which are sure to help the already predominant 90’s-era revival of the genre. It’s very clear that Muscle And Bone set out to create a certain sound and do so with eloquence. It’s almost impossible to compare them to much else out there, not because we’re presented with something astonishingly unique, but more so because they’re able to take a readily well-known genre and carve their own niche into it.
The packaging for this release is fairly standard, with a clear case and two color variants (clear/75 and clear blue/25.) On the inside of the J-Card, we’re given something that you don’t see too often with a cassette: lyrics. It’s a nice, but subtle touch to top off this wonderful release.
Vows – Winters Grave
It’s no surprise that we’re again presented with another wonderful release from Jeremy Records, a label that clearly chooses the right paths in regard to their artists. This 2011 release by Vows, titled Winters Grave, fits perfectly in their roster, presenting an indie rock base, topped off with a bit of gloom that we’ve all come to love. From beginning to end, the full length album ropes you in, allowing each track to resonate long after it’s finished.
With this release, we’re presented with a clear green cassette with full color A and B side labels. The case itself, half black and clear, is what we can only assume is an unintentional throw back to the 80’s and early 90’s releases. Overall, Jeremy Records seems to be very consistent with their products, which is an admirable trait for a small indie to possess.