Various Artists, “New York Rules” cassette

nyrulespackageVarious Artists
New York Rules
(Burn Books)

Holy fucking crap. Despite my inveterate leanings against cassettes, here we are reviewing the New York Rules mixtape that Burn Books put out. Why? Well, first of all – they sent it to the Nuthouse, so it’s not like we had to pay for it. Secondly – it pretty much rules.

To listen to the damn thing, I had to take it to the day job with me. The cassette deck in our stereo upstairs is dead, and that’s the only one in the house. Thankfully, the bakery has a nice dual deck, in order to play the hundreds of cassettes accumulated over the decade and a half the place has been open.

Now, honestly, the main reason I even played this thing is because I haven’t gotten a new cassette since I had a tape deck in my ’88 S-10 and worked as a delivery driver. The fun and excitement that came from cracking open the case and sliding the tape into the deck was pretty swank.

Does it sound good? No way. It’s got hiss, and the recordings were pretty cheap to begin with, but this sounds exactly like a mix somebody would’ve made you back when you were sneaking cigarettes and grinding the curb behind the local middle school. Night Birds hold down the Agent Orange surf-punk end of the spectrum, Nomos are the Bad Brains crazy hardcore, Byrds of Paradise bring the weird fuzzy indie rock like the Pixies, et cetera.

You get this fucking huge Street Trash-influenced poster with the cassette (yellow, like that Bad Brains tape ROIR put out for so many years), and it comes in a custom-screened envelope. Do you need this? No. Do you want this? Yes. Dig out that boombox that’s been moldering in the garage, slap this in, and crank it up until the speakers start to flutter.