Rafter - Sex Death Cassette
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Sex Death Cassette

Sex Death Cassette is the second full-length from Rafter, and with nineteen songs running just over thirty-five minutes, it basically picks up where the hyper-active free-for-all debut left off. As mentioned in my review for Music For Total Chickens, Rafter Roberts makes music for commercial products (everything from cologne and orange juice to eBay, apparently), but he must work on music just about all of his waking hours of his life. Not only is this full-length his second in as many years, but he plans on posting a song per week to the Asthmatic Kitty website over the course of a nearly nine month period.

As mentioned above, everything and anything is to be expected in terms of musical styles, and Sex Death Cassette doesn't disappoint. "Zzzpenchant" romps along with an off-kilter rhythm while saxophones blare as Roberts sings about how humans have plundered the earth. The vibraphone-touched "Love Time Now Please" is one of his best songs to date, as infectious guitars and synths are again punctuated by some rich saxophone as babbling vocals are anything but straightforward pop. "Chances" is just as catchy while being completely different musically, mingling tinny guitar and crisp drums with lo-fi vocals and gurgling background electronics.

Like his last release, at least half the songs on Sex Death Cassette are a minute and a half long or less and are often completely frustrating. While many of them are pretty good, that's exactly the problem, as Roberts will introduce a great idea (like the lush, banjo-based "Candy Sprinkles" and the warm busker-pop of "I Love You Most Of All") and then drop it just as quickly. Sometimes, he can get all his ideas out in just under two minutes, as on the punchy "No-One Home Ever," but often it seems like the short attention-span mode of commercial-writing has infected the album itself, making for an album of several great songs, a couple good ideas, and a batch of unfinished sketches. If you liked his last album, you probably won't go wrong here, but most will probably find this a little too short attention span for their liking.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2008-01-24 21:13:01