Totally Cashed releases sophomore LP, BABELAND!

Buck Rogers
Contributing Writer

The boys in Totally Cashed are back with their second attempt at a debut. After having issues with Punk Rock Emergency, the crew regrouped and came together to record a true debut album of driving rock tunes that don’t quite reinvent rock music, but let me tell you, they sure don’t have to.

The record does a decent job at not kissing its own ass. There are a couple of blatant skits on this record that do a good job at setting the tone for what follows. “Calling All Babes” is an intro to end all album intros. Soothing pianos add to a descriptive explanation of the sounds and sights of this fictitious island. It’s tongue-in-cheek, but it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

The first half of this album is rock music that reminds me of the Pixies colliding with the Hives, or something to that effect. Harsh, piercing yelps and smooth cocky vocal lines are caked over huge sounding instruments. The snare drum on this record is truly something special, even for a home-recording.

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“In the Woods” opens this record with a bang that trickles over to the more basic “Freemasons”, a personal favorite of mine. The yelps on “Freemasons” are awesome.

But back to the instrumentation on this thing. The ability to service a rock song to be compelling, punchy and dense yet clean is a dying art. The ‘Cashed cousins make it seem like a cakewalk.

There’s  urprisingly lush pianos, buzzy heavy Wurlitzer organ sounds, mean pentatonic sax solos, and a mosh pit of most of these elements at times. What’s super cool about these swelling moments of instrumentation is that it is all mixed so well that up to six instruments in tandem can carry a note progression with ease.

I personally don’t agree with spamming a song’s composition with a swell of instruments, but Totally Cashed hit it off very well here. (“Mocha Mota” is a fucking kickass track. Too cool.)

The saxophone makes its entry into your ear holes in the song “I Don’t Mind” and doesn’t leave for the rest of the record. The instrumentation on these songs gets more and more complex as the tracklist progresses. The Wurlitzer sounds show up on “TMZ” and they’re super lush and buzzy.

“Smoke You Down” onward tries to change up the pace a little bit, offering slower ballad-esque tracks that still boast quite a bit of talent and ear-catching moments.

My final word? To me, this is a rock album that does a lot with its sonic texture without reinventing the wheel. They take inspiration lovingly from those who have come before them, and improve upon already well-established rock tropes. They wear these tropes so well, and with such a cocky rock ‘n’ roll touch that they become the band’s sound and style. This is more straightforward a rock record than april(s)in [Thisishowitendedintokyo], but even the simplest songs on here, such as”I Don’t Mind,” aren’t exactly ‘generic’. It’s worth your time, and the production is superb for a home-recording job.

Totally Cashed crashes Burlington Bar (3425 W. Fullerton) June 8th to release Babeland!

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