Slam Donahue‘s new mixtape, “Big House Nice Dreams,” proves that sometimes the best way to think outside the box is to think inside the boombox. The band, consisting of vocalist/guitarist David Otto, bassist Thomas Sommerville and Fort Lean’s Keenan Mitchell on drums, recorded all seven songs through a boombox to “reflect upon the subconscious anxiety of growing up” using the most appropriately lo-fi means imaginable.
The grungy adolescent paroxysm of a single, “No More Talking,” will undoubtedly be voted prom king of the mixtape as it racks up play counts across the ‘net. But I find myself crushing harder on the song’s understated little brother, “How To Be Cool,” which quietly takes a back seat to the more thrill-seeking tracks surrounding it. This is the song that sits on the front stoop watching the cute girl across the street but can’t think of one thing to say to her until he’s had too much Goldschläger at some party he wasn’t even invited to and suddenly he has EVERYTHING to say to her. And it’s not pretty.