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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

The Diskettes
Self Titled (CD)

If there was an award for "Homemade CD-R Packaging Of The Year", there's little doubt that the folks at Asaurus Records would be right up there in the running. (Well, perhaps they might have gotten beaten out by that CD-R I got in the mail other day that was shaped like a hotdog, complete with real condiments smeared on the top.) To get an idea which side of the tree that the Asaurus aesthetic is barking up, let's take for instance their latest offering which is co-released with Me No Know Records: The Diskettes self titled CD-R. It comes nestled happily INSIDE a gutted 5 floppy disk. Yeah, just like those disks I used to watch my Commodore 64's 1541 floppy drive devour.

Enough blather. Here, the Diskettes have created a charming doo-wopian equivalent of a 4-trackers' paradise. Emo kids and hardcore skaters, there's no such luck for you; the campy factor will just about wipe you out. But for the sun-drenched indie kids, you can revel all day long in this eclectic cocktail of bossa nova beats, pseudo-french classical inspired music, and summery 60s pop. "Come On Over" features David Barclay and Emily Beliveau trading off vocal lines like hot potatoes while the partyline dances with raised maracas in the background. Songs like "Art" and "Gossip" feature plinking, ukelele - inspired acoustic guitar with fingersnaps taking care of some of the rhythm section in the background. The "ABC's of Love" is a swingy, lo-fi jam made for spreading out oozily over the shores of Waikiki. Indeed, much of the album felt like it'd best fit while blasting out of a boombox somewhere on a crowded Hawaiian beach. Sort of like the Gidget movie, minus the airheadedness.

There are also several beautiful bossa-inspired numbers on here including "Tradewinds" and "Bossa Nova Love", which made me want to recline puddle-like on the lawn chair while watching the sun melt away on the horizon. David and Emily have a cool voicing chemistry, lending their songs a fuzzy character which might be needless vocal clutter for less adept duos. Regarding the song Gymnasium... oh man. I guarantee you that somewhere, Eric Satie is rolling around in his grave with a happy gin and tonic garnished with one of those little paper umbrellas in one hand and a score of his Trois Gymnopedies in the other, and wondering, when did I fall off the time machine bus?

- review by BY (5.26.03)        

Asaurus Records
PO Box 0664
Allen Park, MI 48101-0664

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