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Hope You Own An 8-Track: No Cars

Is it too early to start talking about “labels to watch in 2010?” If not, I present the cassette-only (OK, they also plan on putting out 8-tracks) label Scotch Tapes for your consideration. They have a heck-of-a-lotta bands on their roster and recently got mentioned on Gorilla Vs. Bear. For this blog’s purposes, Scotch Tapes puts out music by feedback-confectioners Puffy Shoes and another Japanese group, No Cars.

Formed in London by three Japanese teenagers. No Cars play an oh-so-prevalent type of garage rock with emphasis placed on the lo-fi-ness of it all. Unlike the bombastic Puffy Shoes though, this trio prefers to let their sound stay stripped down. “Tuna Tuna Tuna” sums up their approach, getting by with just singing, guitar and subdued drums. The most extravagant edition is a male voice on “1234GoRock.” No Cars spend plenty of time getting goofy – you can figure out the general subject matter of “Funny Farm” before hearing a lick of the weird waltz, while “1234GoRock” boasts the line “wash your hands/wash your hands/hygiene” – but they can also drop great music with a straight face. “Mr. Brown” is a catchy bit of lovelorn rock, while standout “No Cars Theme” rides a breezy-but-blue beat. Listen to a bunch of songs thisaway.