As the latest entry to their growing discography, the album Where I Go When I Am Sleeping is a welcome feature in Casey’s progression. The post-hardcore/melodic hardcore outfit have developed their style and advanced the underground hardcore scene. With somewhat of a melancholic tone to their music, Casey create an interesting mixture of aggressive and emotional music, allowing for listeners to both relate and mosh. They are quickly becoming a staple band within the post-hardcore scene, and their most recent tour with bands such as Rarity and Endless Heights is a clear example of this. Their latest album is evidently a shift from their earlier sound, but not an unwelcome one.
Unlike more mainstream post-hardcore and hardcore outfits like A Day To Remember and Lower Than Atlantis who have moved greatly towards lighter pop and rock style sounds, Casey stay deeply rooted in the gritty hardcore scene in which they were raised. Although they do feature a lot of lighter vocals and monologues than previous releases, with songs such as Phosphenes and Needlework having even lighter instrumental tones, their melancholic and emotional theme remains. Following in the footsteps of other major bands within the underground post-hardcore like Being As An Ocean, Casey develops their sound with lighter tones but does not deviate from their original. Their poignant emotional tone, with instruments shifting between heavily distorted bursts and slow, gradual, reverb-filled sections; mirroring the rapid emotional shifts is still obviously present in their sound.
The one major difference that one could draw is the introduction of more atmospheric and melodic instrumental sections. These interludes are present in and between most songs. Where I Go When I Am Sleeping, the song which gives the album its name, is completely instrumental. Although not unusual for modern hardcore bands, its addition is somewhat overbearing at times. Out of the 12 tracks which make the album, over 3, the songs &, Morphine and the aforementioned Where I Go, are entirely instrumental. This is not to mention the majority of songs which feature these long, drawn-out periods as a twist on a generic bridge section. This not necessarily a negative for the band, as it shows development and growth from their original focus on heavily distorted post-hardcore material, but it may dismay some older fans. Unlike their previous album Love Is Not Enough released in 2016, where most of their songs focused on the heavier elements, this album is more based on this deeper tone.
However, this could be a result of the more focused nature of the album itself. As Casey frontman Tom Weaver told Rock Sound when announcing the album, ‘What the last record taught me … is that I shouldn’t be dissuaded from talking about personal experiences.’ In this album, Weaver and the band wanted to focus in greater depth upon the emotional element of their music. Weaver wants to use his platform to discuss problems of mental health, to express his experience clearly enough so that ‘other people can maybe apply them to their own situations.’ This can most definitely be found in the final track Wounds in which a minute-long monologue by Weaver depicts an instance of his worst depression. The depth in which the album’s lyrics explore this topic is immense and justifies the increasing amount of atmospheric tones. Although this development may be too immense for some of their more hardcore fans, it’s definitely a beneficial addition to their style. As Weaver infers, Casey are trying to move beyond their earlier style and progress into more realistic and personal tones of music.
Casey’s new album is a breath of fresh air for the post-hardcore scene. Their introduction of new elements, with lyrics that cut deep into the heart of the mental health issue really does create an interesting combination and develops their discography. For older fans, their progression might be daunting, but their new feature only benefits their style and works to heighten their emotional tone. Songs such as Wavering and The Funeral still have the heavy elements that older fans love, and this small addition of atmospheric interludes just bolsters this. It makes the band’s music feel more polished and perfected. Respect is the only thing one can offer to Weaver and his bandmates for opening up about real issues and respect is the only thing I can give for this album.