The Cassettes

The Cassettes

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By matching the power pop of Big Star with Washington, D.C., indie rock, the Cassettes create a swirling, fuzz-laden set of sun-drenched pop tunes on their self-titled debut. The band has a real knack for garage riffs on tracks like the feel-good "How Can It Be So Bad?," and paired with a little rock & roll piano on "Girl With X-Ray Eyes," it makes for a pretty catchy sound. "The Good Times" a dreamy psychedelic tune -- part Nirvana and part Love -- with its gentle harmonies, could be the Cassettes' theme song, but it makes the listener long for the group to expand its sound. The Cassettes might inspire awe by adventuring in the territory of "Tomorrow Never Knows" or the Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request, but the Cassettes remain relatively conservative. "Alright With the Days" sounds like it could be a Beachwood Sparks tune, but the strength of that band, as well as the Clientele and Quasi, is their ability to constantly push the limits of the backwards-glancing grooves. The Cassettes are truly enjoyable to listen to despite production that is a little muddy, but their second album will provide a true test of their abilities to challenge listeners' expectations.

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