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raleigh sport!



ok, here it is, the review of raleigh sport's
debut cassette _task force on primary_.
if you're one of these people who only care
about the final verdict -- it's a good cassette,
you should buy it, so buy it!  the rest of you
can read on, if you don't mind my meandering 
style.

hey everybody!  catano wrote a good song!
yeah yeah.  for that band, you know, raleigh sport.
you know, raleigh sport.  that band that does the
lame go-gos cover.  :-)

three of the four members of raleigh sport
are sloan netters -- mike catano, jonathan dacey,
and mark mullane.  considering the reputation of
the first two, that makes reviewing their tape
on sloan net an interesting proposition.

here's a gross generalization -- mark's songs
(there's 8 of them) sound like pavement, catano's
songs (6 of em) sound like sebadoh, and jon's
songs (4 of em) sound like the audio equivalent
of his sloan net posts.  ok, maybe there's a
SY influence.  wait, make that a BRH influence.
:-)

geez!  *19* songs on a *debut cassette*!  what
were these guys thinking?!?  it's the grapeshot
approach to music making i guess.  some it's
bound to hit the target.  and yes, a substantial
portion of it does.

actually, that's what's both kinda good and
kinda frustrating about this cassette.  many
of the songs are actually good.  i wish i could
hear the vocals.  like on catano's best song,
"simply stated", or on mark's "broadcasting 
features".  you see, this whole thing was
recorded on four-track and ghettoblasters
and let's just say that a marvel of lo-fi sound
engineering it's not.  they're obviously being
deliberately muddy, and my personal take on
that stuff is that a little goes a long way.  
of course, i'm really into eric's trip, so my
bias shows.

the overall effect is like listening to
_westing: by musket and sextant_ by pavement,
except on that record the melodic songs are
produced so that you can decipher the vocals.
jon dacey's songs really add to that 
"scrambled sound" feel -- he really likes
just messing around, and his four songs are
strategically placed at wide intervals on
the tape, so that they add a kind of 
texture to the cassette.  it's a good effect,
if you listen to the tape all the way thru.

i think the most boring moment on the tape
is actually the go-gos cover, but that may
be because i haven't heard the original.
all i can say is, everytime that song comes
on when i'm listening to this tape, it's
like my brain shuts off.  i don't think
i've really managed to listen to it
closely yet.

a funny moment on the tape is "thigh-high
stalkings", which i think is *supposed*
to be "thigh-high stockings", i don't
think it's supposed to be some kind of
ominous misogynistic pun or anything,
i think it's an honest spelling mistake.
it's supposed to be a rewritten version
of a sammy song or something.  mark can
tell you which song.  anyways, it's 
really funny even if you're like me and
haven't heard the sammy original.

the cover of this cassette is *really*
cool.  i don't know where they got the
design, what stuff they pasted together,
but i don't remember seeing a better-
looking locally released cassette.

for those of you who don't know the 
prehistory of raleigh sport, mike catano,
sloan list bugaboo and onetime thrush
hermit drumer, was a founding member
of essen (correct me if i'm wrong here).
jon dacey joined on with essen in their
late stage when they'd lost kim stewart,
had morphed from a velocity-girlesque
outfit to a sortof-SY-fugazi thing that
were doing the same boring, pointless
feedback thing gig after gig until they
fell apart.  well, okay, it was interesting
the first couple of times.  they had a
couple of good moments at the pest/spool
gig.  mark mullane was the lead singer
of state champs, this amazing sort of
slackerband outfit that seemed to come
out of nowhere and did some great gigs
at the khyber and at the pop explosion
finale.  andy sawler is the RS bassist
who was, um, playing rhythm guitar in
state champs?  help me out here.

anyways, the combination of influences
here is obviously rich with potential,
and this tape, even if it has its weak
moments, is a sign that this band could
do some really cool things live as 
well as putting out some cool recordings.
i just think mark shouldn't be afraid
to let his voice be heard.  i can't hear
enough of catano's voice on this tape
to tell whether he can sing or not.
on "simply stated", it sounds like maybe
he can.

anyways, let me just say that not only
did i like this cassette on the first
listen, i've gotten to like it even 
more over the course of repeated listens.
it's really growing on me.  in addition
to the songs i've already mentioned,
"secret home," "puritan fours," and
"my intention" stand out for me.  i
think there's some kind of neat keyboard
thing going on in "broadcasting features".
is that what i'm hearing?

buy this cassette now and you too can
say "i knew about this really cool band
when they were just starting out!"  :-)

james 

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     _James R. Covey <jrcovey\!/ac.dal.ca>_    sloan net is a discussion of the
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