Melted Cassettes – Shirt and CD Package


Deaf Sparrow has been around since roughly 2008 when the original editor, Hansel Merchor, created it as a way to review extreme underground music.  The hard-to-find stuff, things most sites wouldn’t touch, almost anything from a poorly-recorded garage cassette to a highly-produced LP.  Most people don’t know it, but I, the new and current editor, first became acquainted with this site as a reader.  I’ve interested in underground music since I was young, branching out with thank-you lists on albums by Brutal Truth, Macabre, and other underground metal bands, eventually reaching into avenues like noise, glitch, dark synthwave and countless other genres.  Music was always something that defined me, because I refused to simply listen and consume, I wanted to investigate.  Deaf Sparrow was one of the sites I would regularly read in the past decade, because I always found the style more creative than straight critical with personal flavor and joking that explained the high and low points of a particular release without reducing it to mere discussions of technical jargon.  Eventually, I started an underground label of my own, called Mind Flare Media, that sought to specialize in the obscure, and Deaf Sparrow was one of the first sites I sent my releases to for review.  From there I developed a small acquaintance with Hansel over email, and eventually, after he asked, I started to do reviews for him of “all this crazy noise shit [he kept] receiving.”


Over time, I realized how much I enjoyed music criticism and how difficult running a label was.  My original plans were for roughly four releases per year in a variety of different genres.  However, I quickly learned underground publishing is at least partially a labor of love, and without some incentive to purchase, due to how modern media works with quick consumption and typically a single-track mindset, you end up spending and not really making anything.  Over time I decided to do limited releases with limited shirt runs with any profits over production going to the bands, and nothing to me, and it worked well.  That’s kind of how it is be for many underground labels; you do it because you like it, not because you want to make a living off of it.  Making a living off of this sort of thing usually requires reaching a larger audience and ostracizing the very fans that got you started.  Who wants that?

Mind Flare Media was a fun ride, but after gaining full editorial control of Deaf Sparrow, roughly two years after my last MFM release, I decided to call it quits and merge it with this current site, occasionally doing special releases for bands I liked, without really worrying about press.  I’m more concerned about the bands and giving them some sort of cool product, so that’s what this will be about from now on.  So, that brings us to our first special release for Melted Cassettes.  I actually released Melted Cassettes first full-length CD in 2011 under MFM, after I found them online.  The work towards the album had been completed over roughly two years, and we put together a set of their tracks in an order I created myself, which I felt best represented their sound and aesthetic. The artwork was done by the awesomely weird George Tourlas.  Originally, The Real Sounds From Hell Recordings was released with an extremely limited-print-run shirt of about only ten, black-on-white design.  It was basically something of a test market for the shirt/CD package idea.  I wasn’t able to do with it what I originally intended, so this first special Deaf Sparrow creation is what I originally wanted.  The album is still available for purchase via sites like Amazon MP3, of course, but in this particular run you get a chance at a limited shirt and the CD at an extremely cut price, or just the shirt.  The shirts will not be available anywhere else.  Once they’re printed, they’re done, no more.  Remaining CD stock will be sent to the band for them to sell on tour or however they like.


For the ordering you have the option of purchasing the shirt, or the shirt and CD combination with the CD at a discount price.  Just so you know, these are real CDs, not CDrs.  They come shrinkwrapped and ready to blast out your speakers in whatever context you desire, or to rip the tracks and stick them where you want them.  Above you’ll find the Bandcamp link which let’s you hear the album, but the CD is optional if you already have it or only want the shirt.  So this is it, the final run.  All you need to do is click on one of the options below.  The first is the SHIRT ONLY option, the second SHIRT AND CD PACKAGE.  You can select different sizes, but the shirt color is white only, with the design you see at the top of this page.  Full-color silk-screened, no transfer bullshit, preshrunk cotton. ORDER RUNS FOR ONE MONTH ONLY.  Shipping is included in the price unless you’re outside of the US.  Please note for foreign orders there’s a special option to select at the bottom of the drop-down menu!


Written by Stanley Stepanic