Cassette Corner: Jump The Blinds - "Kill Kill Bangkok"

Jump The Blinds - Kill Kill Bangkok
(2014 Self-Released)

As my last few posts have mentioned I enjoy a tape surrounded with a hint of mystique, and it's only natural that Jump The Blinds' new album Kill Kill Bangkok piqued my curiosity. It arrived in a normal looking letter-sized envelope, a lone purple tape absent from its box, wrapped in torn notebook paper. The album title was scrawled directly onto the cassette's face with a black sharpie, bordered by heavy, jagged marks that I might find myself absent-mindedly doodling in a notebook. Honestly, I didn't know all that much about the New York quartet before popping the tape into our van's deck, but the DIY feel of the tape had me excited to give it a listen.

I've listened to the eight song EP a few times now, and it's still extremely difficult for me to pin it down to a single subgenre. At times, it perfectly resembles the crusty, rhythm-driven skate punk sound of the early 80's. A dark, yet also undeniably catchy approach to hardcore is taken throughout the album, reminding one of the surprisingly tuneful aggression of the Misfits or Drunk Injuns. Other elements of Kill Kill Bangkok, however, point to the neo-garage rock recently popularized by Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. It's especially evident in the sour, moaning guitaristry on "Dance" and the acid twang of the vocals. There are even a few moments showing some post-punk restraint. "Clockwise" opens with muted guitar and a heavy, galloping beat, possibly signifying a Fugazi influence. In fact, I'd imagine it could pass for an emo track in the right setting.

In the end, I can't help but love this tape, not only for it's unabashed DIY spirit in design and sound quality, (the songs were recorded in an old barn with vintage equipment), but also for its raw brand of punk, transcending any specific label. This can, at times, make for a few jarring shifts in mood or timbre, but overall, this variety keeps the listener more actively aware of what he's consuming, inviting comparisons to other punk acts.

Contact the band at whirpool138@gmail.com or at 2214 24th Street, Niagra Falls, New York 14305 if you're interested in getting your hands on a copy.