[sic] Magazine

Vague Lanes – Cassette

Can you have two bassists in a band?

It’s a question as old as rock itself. Vague Lanes do precisely this although the bands protagonists wouldn’t want me to leave it at that. Both Mike Cadoo and Badger McInnes play bass left handed. They also play a whole bunch of other stuff, adding programming, sequencing and production skills into the mix. These men are stalwarts of the Bay Area music scene, Cadoo being the founder of the n5MD record label while McInnes the purveyor of gothic rock with his projects Here We Burn and After the Apex. One feels that both men had an itch to scratch with this project, a post punk itch to be precise. Whatever it is, it’s infectious.

Cassette is the bands four track debut offering. Percussion is to the fore here with mid-eighties whiplash drum machines dictating terms, but adequately supported by eerie synths and those aforementioned bass guitars. The programing itself puts me in mind of acts like Xymox or Sisters Of Mercy. The twin bass guitars recall variously Simon Gallup, Peter Hook or any of Nine Inch Nails‘ revolving door of players. At times the bass rumbles melodically, whilst at others they’re like dueling chainsaws.

Although The Cure loom largest over most modern day takes on goth rock, this record takes us to other places too. Vague Lanes summon a maelstrom. You can almost tangibly hear the moment where Cassette escapes the slick modernity of the studio and bursts into the outside world. Things become windswept and elemental, like Cocteau Twins reverb heavy debut, Garlands. Only where Garlands evoked a dank woodland, Cassette takes us more to the cliffs edge. Cadoo howls into the wind and it all feels a bit out of control, a bit unhinged. And that’s precisely what recommends it.

Can we have two bassists in a band? Sure we can. Just get ready to rumble.

The duo had also been rehearsing a cover of Trisomie 21s beloved track The Last Song, getting it ready to play live. However a sufficient number of friends urged them to release it and the band acquiesced. The Last Song doesn’t appear on Cassette but it has its own release. See link attached. It’s rad.

Cassette is out now on limited physical release and digital.


Bandcamp – The Last Song