It’s important for musicians to know their target demographic, and Brother Gruesome’s Todd Jackson and Levi Watson have narrowed focus on the thousands of drivers stuck on America’s highways with busted CD players, but perfectly working tape decks. So when the Oklahoma City duo’s self-titled EP surfaces Friday, it’ll be in cassette form and only $5.
“I love tapes,” Jackson said. “You can leave them on the floor for six months, and they are still going to work. A tape is going to sit in someone’s car for years. Once the CD player craps out or all the CDs are scratched up, the person will say, ‘Well, I’ve got this tape,’ and they’ll then listen to the tape five times in a row.”
Jackson and Watson began Brother Gruesome as a side-project to The Hex, and there are traces of the former group’s expansive psychedelic rock in the five-track EP, specifically during the somber ditty about Internet porn, “Nakedgirls.com.” But Brother Gruesome isn’t just a stripped-down replica; the pensive, accordion-heavy “Song for Mike” contains a tighter structure and lush, layered production more indicative of Jackson’s other band, Norman’s Evangelicals.
Jackson said audiophiles are starting to return to the cassette format since they are cheap and easy to record on, more durable than a CD and more end-of-the-world-resistant than MP3s.
“Digital files will only last until the crash comes,” he said, “when that giant alien magnet comes over and wipes out every computer.”
The EP is distributed through the online Tape Club at http://www.slantyshantyrecords.com. Now go dig up that Walkman.’Charles Martin