Oxfordshire duo Cassels understand drama. And tension. And noise. And musicality. In fact, on ‘You Us and They’, their ability to twist and turn both notes and sinews is as thrilling as it is terrifying, unleashing an electrifying fusion of stream of conscious lyrics and pulsating math/art-rock that enchants as much as it excites.
All-too-brief – ‘You Us and They’ is only four songs long and can be enjoyed four times an hour with enough time left to brew a cuppa – it’s a suitably unhinged slice of indie-rock that will leave you dizzy and dazed but desperate for more.
Brothers Jim and Loz Beck possess the precociousness of a young Los Campesinos!; hyperactive fretful and fitful, but with a clear-minded vision to go with the musical artistry. ‘Cool Box’ is the epitome of this, working through a steely lyrical narrative and a satisfying crescendo. Lead single ‘Ignoring all the Tunnels and Lights’ is even better (“really professional” as the grandparents say in the video…); lyrically it’s a dark and twisted, blackly comic tale of ageing and dying, but builds to such an explosion of noise and tension it’ll set you back on your heels. Powerful, evocative and ever-so slightly irreverent, it possesses the sort of street smart wit, appreciation for the mundane and interesting musicality that you would expect to find in a Tarantino-directed musical.
The best music – certainly the music I find myself returning to – eschews trends and refuses to follow crowds or concords. Cassels sound like nothing else out there, yet retain a comforting familiarity to their sound – like they’ve pinched the best bits from Pavement, Cap’n Jazz, Los Campesinos and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, and performed the perfect getaway by melding it into something new and unique. As a result, Cassels stand apart as band that should be lauded and celebrated.
’You Us and They’ EP by Cassels is released on August 12th on Big Scary Monsters.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)