This split is a cross-country bear hug co-released by the nouveau cassette tape kings of the United States ? Fuckittapes (NYC) and Not Not Fun (LA). We get a syrupy side of caustic mirth from New York newcomers Shepherds (Jeremy and Christian from Woods with G. Lucas Crane of Vanishing Voice) and a heap of blackened battiness courtesy of Californian muckrakers Quintana Roo (Britt of Robedoor, Amanda from Pocahaunted and Roy Changeling). These six players alone are probably responsible for about half of the output of both these prolific labels. Compared to some of the other output from FIT and NNF, this package is somewhat minimalist, but it beats a CD jewel case any day of the week! The whole thing is draped in wintry silver spray paint and the J-card features a couple of hooded figures gathering twigs, presumably for a warm fire to combat the deep freeze.
The Shepherds side is split in two, and the first half of the side manages to sound deeply dub-infected, cantankerously clatter-fuelled and grotesquely ghost-like all at the same time. Part two spices up the broth with a splash of junkyard gamelan looped around a gummy heap of warbling dissonance. Trust me though; it?s better than it sounds. ?Mythological Animals,? the Quintana Roo side, is frightening, frightening, frightening! These folks have mastered the slow burn, ploughing sounds such that they seep effortlessly through the skull. Kind of insidious, don?t you think? A not-so-subtle Autoharp gang-bang ups the creepiness about a dozen notches. Always keep one eye open when these weirdos are around.
In the face of an exponentially increasing number of short-run cassette labels, FIT and NNF are proving that they?ve got staying power. But with a stable roster of unsettling maniacs, including Shepherds and Quintana Roo, it?s no wonder they?ve managed a semblance of success. But hey, it?s in our best interests that they keep on trucking! 7/10 -- Bryon Hayes (27 March, 2007)