Oakland’s queer-fronted, indie rockers Super Cassette break out of Silicon Valley’s tech bro hellscape with their upcoming album Continue?‘ posing the question, “Is life worth living?” Through the lens of electro indie-rock at its most danceable and celebratory primary songwriter Max Gerlock (they/them) juxtaposes high energy electronic riffs with witty, existential reflections on mortality and the darker side of life.
Echoing the wry melancholic humour of The Smiths with propulsive jangling riffs, Max and their co writing brother Nick Gerlock (he/him) embrace the theme of obsolete media and tech, including their namesake, the failed 1984 Japanese video game console The Super Cassette Vision.
Today the duo give us a glimpse of their upcoming album Continue out on 1st December with their latest track Path Through the Past out today. Watch here:
Path through the Past gives us Vampire Weekend sized mega-hooks and uncanny demi-electronic drums. This hybrid electro indie rock banger entices us with a pentatonic melody and deliciously long chord progressions, echoing the song writing style of James Mercer of The Shins. Max’s defeatist lyrics about longing and confronting the choices we’ve made in our lives are bathed in cheerful melancholy. “Every path through the past reaches a dead end / My ex-girlfriend’s dog is probably dead / Every road through the snow leads to crooked bends / And no matter how fast you turn, you always crash in the end,” Max sings.
“When I was teaching computer science,” says Max, “I’d think about algorithms for finding paths. I’d think about my life and its branching paths. It all leads to this, or that, or death. I wrote this song while on a bike ride up to Grizzly Peak. I took an edible, was pedaling up the hill, then found myself missing my ex-girlfriend’s dog. I thought about how that dog probably isn’t around, and isn’t that how things go? The line, ‘When I see your face / All I can see is how you will age.’ There was a time in my life that whenever I looked at someone’s face, I’d imagine them old. Life is fleeting.”
Super Cassette have shared bills with No Party for Cao Dong and Scott Klopfenstein (Reel Big Fish), and have been added to Spotify editorial playlists like Indie Brandeu. Their 2020 single “Be Gay, Do Drugs, Hail Satan” went viral racking up over three million streams on Spotify alone, hundreds of TikTok videos, and over 2,400 upvotes on the prestigious Listen to This subreddit.
Super Cassette’s Continue? album is out on 1st December.
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Super Cassette [L-R]: Max Gerlock, Nick Gerlock – photo by Gene Ang.