"Restaunaut is defined as “One who very commonly eats out, and is recognized easily by waitstaff.” It is also the alias for Nick Dolezal of Fresno, CA. This cassette falls roughly in the middle of his discography which include 14 albums, most of them recorded over the past year or so. Most of his work is pretty freak-folky, heavy on acoustic guitar, and I believe, ukulele and xylophone. This tape however, seems more focused on squeezing the last few decibels from a dying keyboard. For the most part, it works as quirkiness is well complemented by Daniel Johnston style vocals. It is worth noting the important difference, that the vocals here are more deliberate; like he’s writing songs because he wants to rather than Johnston writing songs because he has to – though the songs are no worse for the distinction.
One other thing I would point out is the questionable decision to passively brag about stealing from a charitable organization in the liner notes. He does this while referring to a sample he uses of a boy singing lifted from a tape, which in turn was lifted from Goodwill. How this bold move will play out in the national press remains to be seen, but I’m willing to forgive him as I know from experience that Fresno, CA is a terrible, terrible place.
There are some pretty solid pop melodies here. The highlights are “The Little Man” on Side A and “Pin Missile” on Side B ,which is like a symphony-to-scale compared to the rest of the cassette. The one real lull is the song “Spittoon” on Side B. I’m not sure what the point of the song is but maybe you can figure it out. Fans of Son of Salami and superfans of Ariel Pink are very likely to enjoy this album."
- Travis Long, Cassette Gods, April 24th, 2014
"How many times- and by how many people- will this name be misconstrued as “Restaurant”? It makes much more sense, but yet, having it as Restaurnaut just makes me think of space food and, well, I’ve always been a fan of space ice cream, so there you go. Let’s eat food that doesn’t taste the same as it does on Earth, yet it is still somehow yummy.
Side A of this cassette kicks off the first three of the six songs on “When the Hue Was More”. Right away, I can tell that this is homemade is sounding, but I believe that is a theme with Kerchow Records and I’m cool with that. What is remarkable about these songs on Side A is that they are distorted, yet a certain amount of melody still seeps through them. Though they have vocals themselves, they remind me at least musically of the band Aloha.
There also exist some keys coming through that on whatever levels reminds me of The Doors, so you have that going for you now as well. Add that your impression of this musically, yet also notice I just put “keys” and “doors” in the same sentence and yet neither of them are the house kind.
After the first side ends its three songs, there is some empty space left on the cassette. This is always an awkward part of listening to cassettes for me because I find myself listening to a lot of dead air because I want to make sure nothing is hidden in there and also just because I listen for that click of the side to end before I flip it over.
What normally is moments of silence is rather a recorded message (probably made by a computer voice, if not I apologize to any human I may offend) telling you to flip the tape over, which actually just say this a bunch of times:
“Thank you for listening to Side A, “When the Hue is More”, please fast forward to the end of this side and flip the tape over to the other side, B”
I’m not going to actually count how many times it was said, but it does take you to the end of Side A and somehow manages to fit itself in there exactly with length and everything too.
After fast forwarding (just kidding, I didn’t do that) and flipping the tape over, we enter Side B. This begins with a more standard type of song called “Ghost Stories”, which has the title actually sung in it a few times, so it’s kind of like this… I don’t know, it’s got this crisp synth sound to it with a drum beat on repeat and the vocals. It might be the closest we get to a “normal” song on this cassette and I’m fine with that.
Oh yeah, but it also has the voice of a little girl being sampled in it, telling us about various topics which are sure to leave you both disturbed and in awe. I swear on all that is holy, to whoever is behind the project known as Restaurnaut, that if the child who is sampled in this song is dead and this in fact has brought some sort of nightmares upon me I will put a curse on you.
(In hindsight, it does sound like a voice mail, and so it could be someone’s daughter, so I really hope that the child is alive and well, but the fact that it goes with a song called “Ghost Stories” makes me a little paranoid as I already have enough nightmares)
We then turn our focus to an instrumental number which involves spoons being put to drinking glasses, amidst other noises, and my soul is calmed. And then the heavy breathing begins. What kind of obscene phone call is this, huh? Funny how things on this side keep getting pulled back to the telephone.
The last song, “Pin Missle”, ends us on a positive note, as this is something in the vein of I Kill Giants’ “Secret Tunnel”, only with more words and slightly longer. So, on the whole, yeah, this tape was actually really good and I don’t think/hope there is any bad juju on anyone who appears on it, listens to it or whatever. However, if you don’t buy this cassette and listen to it, I offer you no promises.
Thank you for reading this review of “When the Hue Was More”. You may now close out of this website and return the computer to its rightful owner."
- Joshua Macala, Raised By Gypsies, May 20th, 2014
"I really like the name “Restaurnaut” and I think we can all relate to Nick Dolezal’s brief definition on his Bandcamp, “One who very commonly eats out, and is recognized easily by waitstaff.” Not only is Dolezal certainly one of these restaurnaut characters, but while at a restaurant, there’s a good chance he’s also playing a show. His music is playful and simple, but most importantly portable - ukelele strums, glockenspiel plunks, kiddie-Casio key strokes, flutes toots, and small cymbals make up the core pallet of sounds, all of it contributing to the miniature, hand-held feel of the tape. And then that voice… yeah, he gets almost a tad obnoxious on this one in spots, but it’s all a part of the act: This weird Restaurnaut dude is screaming at me and my steaming bowl of matzoh ball soup. Why not? Dolezal is obviously a fun-loving kind of dude (check the end of either side of the tape with a pre-recorded “thank you” message and instructions to fast-forward to the end and flip the tape over… no no, Restaurnaut, thank you), but that doesn’t stop him from throwing bits of endearing drama in there - “Registered Vampire” is a certified creep-fest, and it follows a really focused no-input noise affair that’s no joke either. But on the whole, Dolezal is at his best doing what he did on last year’s Black Crow Marathon, singing those lovely, lively little tunes with little frill or fuss, and sounding like he’s having a blast while doing it."
- Strauss, Tiny Mix Tapes, February 13th, 2014