It’s done; I’m now officially a Cassels fan. I had high hopes, but their latest venture sells it for me.
The boys are really pumping out records. With the release of their debut album, Foreword, back in April and the release of Epithet just last week, the ambition and drive of the two-piece from Oxford is evident. Between the two albums we find twenty-one songs of real high-velocity grunge, in itself an impressive feat, and I’m sold on the brother’s musical ability and business sense.
Coup is a riveting introduction, it laments on the current climate of middle-class youth which is neatly wrapped up with a dissolute drum beat. Let slows the pace, with an intro from a Winston Churchill quote that still rings true;
“The ten months that have passed have seen very terrible catastrophic events in the world – ups and downs, misfortunes – but can anyone sitting here this afternoon, this afternoon, not feel deeply thankful for what has happened in the time that has passed and for the very great improvement in the position of our country and of our home? Why, when I was here last time time we were quite alone, desperately alone.”
The Cassels frontman, Jim Beck, uses spoken-word lyrics which are often shouted at the audience. The band have a clear focus on their lyrical integrity which resonates positively with the fans, using their supporting instruments to help illuminate their words. Winston Churchill’s iconic introduction to the high-octane Let, contrasts with the intense opening to This Song Has A Name But WE Don’t Like To Talk About It. Each of tracks showcase the unique elements of the band. With the right audience, Cassels could really become a huge part of their respective sub-culture.
My award for best song on the album goes to War Is A Really Clever Metaphor For Divorce. Something in that tune really resonates with me, showing off Loz and Jim’s musical prowess and the passion that fuels their music. Motor Skills is also up the top, it shows the direction that I would like the band to take.
Whilst I do genuinely enjoy every song on the album, it’d be nice to see some diversity with a few slower, more varied songs. Chewed Up is almost the perfect example of my point, until the breakdown shifts back to their usual sound towards the end. Again, I love the sound, but I want to see how well rounded these guys are. As I said earlier, I can tell big things are coming for them. They just need to polish off a few rough edges.
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