After previous cassette releases with Milk Crimes, No Dice Tapes return today with their second charity compilation on baby pink cassette, enthusiastically titled ‘2016: The Year All Bad Things Went Away and Everything Turned out to Be Fine’. All proceeds from this release will go to Manchester based charity Action For Trans Health.
The 13 track compilation opens with Jealous Girlfriend’s You’re Not Broken, a short but sweet pop song with scuzzy guitars lifted by soft vocals and soothing harmonies. Although perfect to tap along to, a jolty temperament and lyrics “If you hurt yourself, there’s nothing I can do” suggests darker subjects. Following is Never from London based DIRTY GIRL, a particularly twangy and repetitive love song with a bittersweet edge and whiney vocals, and Very Fresh’s California Low, with a simple guitar twang that builds into shimmering layers of guitars, fuzzed up vocals, and a lingering dark bassline.
Crisps is a typically Trust Fund-esque pop song with sugar sweet vocals, and whiney guitars over a steadily tapping pace. Whispered lyrics “Sometimes all I wanna do is look nice for you” merges the small mundanities of being in love, and the anxieties accounted to naive innocence. Porridge Radio’s Go Away and Squeakeasy’s Fanta Hunter provide insights of hyperactivity, heavy emotion and electronic fuzziness – lifted only by the cool vocals of Porridge Radio and the intensity of a sugar rush – whereas the quieter moments on Garden Centre’s I Am The Babysitter, Oh Peas!’ The Waves and Two White Cranes’ Garden (Mat Riviere) with simple piano, warm vocals and twinkling sentiments of love songs, bring the compilation to a flimsy, and emotional low.
The sticky sounds of Joey Fourr’s Tiny Tiny are a highpoint of the compilation, stretching its twangy pop roots into a song of jolting basslines that lingers with glossy fuzz even in just two minutes. Similarly, Boy Problem’s Winona Death Ryder with its twinkling electric guitars that flicker alongside a simple bassline, oozes in warm charm as “Oh, Winona Ryder, there’s no other girl like ya” is crooned barely above a whisper. It is the warm, and untouched charm of this song that remains for the entirety of the compilation.
This No Dice release is perhaps summed up by its title – whilst it features songs that make you sad and often retrospective, it also brings songs that make you happy, and equally ones that remind you that the world is a better place. Although simple, the compilation is a reminder of the softer sensations and quieter moments often lost or forgotten; a truly beautiful selection of songs by a range of wonderful artists.