In my early years of driving, I’d roam the streets of suburban Philadelphia with my favorite cassette tapes blasting as loud as possible. I wasn’t a very good driver, but I felt like the King of the World (say it in Leo’s voice) when my music was playing. At some point I went slightly more HI-FI and began to play my CD’s (compact discs) through the cassette deck by way of a Sony Discman. It seemed that the golden age of cassettes had run its course. Or so I thought. Recently cassette tapes have begun to make a comeback, even scoring their equivalent of Record Store Day with Cassette Store Day. If you’ve ever made a girl (or boy) a mix tape, you know the feelings of nostalgia that a cassette tape can evoke. Bel Argosy hail from Brooklyn, NY and recently released their stunning debut EP on cassette tape (and as a free download).
The sound of the band is a bit of The Strokes, a bit of The Buzzcocks, and a whole lot of catchy power-pop-punk. The band formed in 2010 and includes Billy Lopez on vocals / guitar, Julian Graham on drums, Chris Cumming on bass, and Beau Alessi on lead guitar. It is a throw back to the DIY sounds of the late 70’s and early 80’s delivered with the attitude of the bands that came around in the early 00’s (and who also happened to be from Brooklyn). The debut EP is an amazing introduction to the band and sign of great things to come. Standouts for me include the opening track “Yer Door” which nods towards the Ramones (especially in the vocals), “Late to Give Up” with its dirty guitars & 70’s DIY feel, and “The Lie” which impresses with its hypnotic recital of the song’s title and the way it builds on its punk groove as the song progresses. A bit of Lou Reed attitude in there throughout the EP which is always welcome in my world. Here’s to Bel Argosy.
You can find the band on Facebook here or you can visit their website here. The cassette is available from the band for $5, but you can also download the songs directly from the band for free. Highly recommended.
Verdict: Brooklyn’s Finest
For Fans of: The Strokes, The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, O-Level, Television Personalities
- Yer Door
- Belle Below Dagger
- Late to Give Up
- The Lie