Album release: 'Epithet' by Cassels
Release date: 6 October 2017
Label: Big Scary Monsters
More info: Band website
The fiercely original two-piece Cassels have released another single - 'Where Baseball Was Invented' - a stinging ode to their sleepy hometown of Chipping Norton which was premiered by Kerrang! here.
They will also play two launch shows for the record in October and they will also support label mates Single Mothers on their UK tour in November.
For Cassels, music is about authenticity. Together they embody the spirit of punk, even if their sound stretches the boundaries of any genre. It is rare to find a band who sound only like themselves, especially one with just two instruments, but Cassels are just that. The work of two brothers, Loz and Jim Beck, they have been playing music together since long before their voices broke and all that practise has paid off – direct and considered lyrically, musically challenging and in possession of an originality you could never force.
“I’m hoping cynicism will pass as lyricism,” Jim Beck, the driving force behind the sibling duo spits on previous single ‘The Weight’, featured by NME, Dork, DIY, Upset, Gold Flake Paint and a highlight of a “pre-album” that got 5 K’s in Kerrang!.
“I guess it stems from a few places,” he says of the origin for this attitude, “people letting me down, not having a particularly sociable childhood, and our dad’s a pretty cynical guy.”
But in his mind, cynicism is realism. It underpins what Cassels stand for. Their noisy, edgy and sometimes deliberately jarring sound is built around a reluctance to idly stand by as our political climate clouds our futures. It balances apathy with anger, and through it channels a generational voice. A generation who are incorrectly dismissed as being inactive, but who are finding new ways to attack the establishment.
The message lies unfiltered over a unique sound only the UK DIY scene could cultivate. There’s no metaphor to hide behind. Cassels are antagonistic and brash, but more importantly, they challenge the norm, both musically and lyrically.
The lyrics are like contemporary poetry driven by the frustration of socio-political injustices, and fed by the ennui of growing up in a one-horse town. “There’s the old cliché that good lyrics stand up on a page without music, but in reality I don’t think many read well at all,” Jim says scathingly of mainstream music. “At some point I made the conscious decision to try and write words which could be read in isolation without them being obviously identifiable as being from a song.”
‘Epithet’ features the production work of Rocky Reilly (And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebisi Shank) who captures all the intricacies of the two piece in their biggest sound yet. From the opening salvo of singles “Coup” and “Let”, to the bitter tribute to the town they grew up in – “shitty Chipping Norton” – on “Where Baseball Invented”, onto the call and response hooks of “You Turn On Utopia” and the melodic suss of closer “Chewed Up Cheeks”, the album rarely lets up pace. Disparate, desperate wording set to music that moves from cacophony to melody seamlessly, ‘Epithet’ further cements their youthful tenacity, and continues to paint them as one of the most unique, and most important, bands of our time.
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