The Papercuts

Rejoicing Songs

Cassingle USA

“Lamenting songs” would be a less ironic title for this Berkeley band’s first record of sad, dreamy, slowish, damaged, low-key pop songs. They’re not pop in the highly structured, Beatles-y, verse-chorus sense, but more like captivating, moody soundscapes with more Casio than guitar, odd layered sound effects like turntable scratching, occasionally funk-ish (but not at all dancey) drums and earnest, flat, depressed vocals about insecurity and loneliness. This CD was home-recorded on 8-track and released on Redwood City-based Cassingle USA, a project of Papercuts drummer Owen Ashworth, who was also the talent behind Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Wyatt Riot zine. The mood of this record stays consistently uncertain-to-melancholic, but it doesn’t get boring. I don’t see a standout single; it’s the kind of thing to break out when you want to drop the laser anywhere and have a good sulk.