Review: Cassida Pax - "Hidden Relations"

Cassida Pax - Hidden Relations
(2013 Memory 36)
"Angelic frailty"

Prolific synth-smith Cassida Pax (aka Ricardo Stacey) is back again with a brand-new tape: Hidden Relations. Like much of the Cassida Pax discography, Hidden Relations seems to be an innocent display of 4 no-fi new-wave jams on the surface; under closer scrutiny, each song’s dark, seductive underbelly is revealed. Juggling focus between dreamy, warped pop and musical catharsis, this is an EP that will leave you both tapping your feet and sifting through reverb residue to pick out the lyrics.

“Alibi” is the EP’s lead track and undisputed pop single, consisting of woozy dreamscapes and a bellowing bassline. Echoing chimes bob and weave far above with an angelic sense of frailty. Stacey’s vocals have an enervated quality to them, as if delivering his last words in lyrical form. The next four songs follow suit, skeletal pop numbers marked by their brittle construction and spare rhythms. “The Remaining Factor” takes the title of shoegaziest song, heaps of droning white noise whirling tornado-like in a vacuum of sound. Many potential melodies are fighting for space in this jumble, yet none take center-stage. Hidden Relations is post-punk in its purest form: intentional amateurity and transfixing use of distortion. Snag it here.