Cassette Corner: Mole People - "Mole Scroll"

Mole People - Mole Scroll
(Tolmie Terrapin 2012)
"Dark auras rife with muck"

Mole People's Mole Scroll is the sort of album that's perfect for a cassette; fractured, toeing the line between insanity and coherence. The whole recording gives one the feeling of crawling through a mole's tunnel, as the Cleveland 4-piece conjure up dark auras rife with muck. Slowly creeping ambience digs deep into the listener's skull, giving one the light-headed feeling of losing oxygen. Mole Scroll is a frantic search for the light in a pitch-black world, and only the brave will emerge from the underground.

One of the main contributions to the album's sense of panicked confusion is unpredictable use of dynamics. On songs like "She Lost All Her Hair" and "A Meal Covered In Plastic Only", a clean guitar is picked softly and sparsely while a breathy whisper sounds as if spoken outwardly from deep inside one's inner ear. Each of these brittle sonic structures are shattered like glass by atomic blasts of distortion that seem to come from nowhere. Other tracks focus on just a single feeling, like one of my favorite selections from the album, "I Called the Rats on You". It charges forward, propelled by a trudging bassline, the vocals sounding as if shouted into a megaphone. Although it can be a bit hard to grasp, Mole Scroll is a fast paced, white-knuckle ride, (Rarely do tracks pass the 2-minute mark) and I often feel the compulsion to slip it in my tape deck just for the puzzling, yet rewarding experience. While listening, I also like to look at the photocopied lyric booklet stapled inside the tape's J-Card. It looks really cool against the brown and green hand-painted background. Listen below.