The Cult of Lip Fuzz & Feedback Freaks cassette

This cassette compiles all three of CULT OF LIP’s first EPs—Right Now (2015, No Problem Records), Your Feedback (2017, Rare Plant Records), and Sleep Receiver (2018, Rare Plant Records). All of these are individually available from MPLS Ltd, and finally, this compilation on Kitschy Spirit. The music is equal parts psychedelic, noise, and shoegaze, gathering into an industrial-sounding headache betrothed to shimmering, warbled guitar and looping instrumentals; “Fog” off Right Now is a good example. I’m not saying this in a bad way at all, and there are times when everything gels in songs, like “Fray” from Your Feedback, that is dreamy and dark. Ronnie Lee and Hannah Porter achieve all the vocals and instruments on these recordings, except for Sleep Receiver on which the drummer Eric Whalen is credited. This pared-down lineup gives a true focus to their sound, which has progressed since their first release over ten years ago, with Sleep Receiver (the most recent) being my favorite of the three. This cassette comes out in front of their 2023 Marsha LP, perhaps creating some buzz (or fuzz) for the release. I was surprised how much this grew on me: while it droned and wandered at times, the effective songcraft and Hannah’s haunting vocals kept drawing me back.