“The you in this song is a real person…” Cassels’ second EP opens in a blunt and direct way.
A style built to popularity by punk rock two-pieces like Drenge and Slaves over the last few years, the two brothers from Oxford now attack it with an apathetic yet youthful view on reality. It’s refreshing to hear songs about the NHS and social media which don’t dumb down or glamorise, and Cassels achieve it without sounding unnecessarily crude.
‘You Us and They’ – the title track – attacks the political minefield of the NHS. “Why don’t they gas the polling chambers as we line up to vote” lyricist Jim Beck shouts at the climax to the track, a sentiment reflecting a large proportion of public opinion. At the end of the day that’s what’s going to make a band like Cassels; they’re not easy on the ear – it’s music for the angry, but more importantly, music with a meaning.
Once you take away the excellent lyrical part of the band you’re left with something that is interesting and musically different. The jarring, jumpy punk riffs give Cassels a sound resonating with the new breed of 21st century punk that’s slowly rearing it’s head and yet retains an air of individuality.
In a time filled with the kind of discontent towards the establishment amongst young people, punk could be more relevant than ever, and now that Slaves, Drenge and many more have opened the door to the wider audience, it could be Cassels time to burst right through it. Everywhere in this EP, from the politics of ‘You Us and They’, to the apathetic attitude of ‘Ignoring All The Tunnels & Lights’, and the frantic ‘Well Fed Worms In A Graveyard’ screams potential.
Cassels also head out on a co-headline tour with itoldyouiwouldeatyou in September:
11th September – Green Door Store, Brighton
12th September – Whiskey Jar, Manchester
14th September – Santiagos, Leeds
15th September – The Cookie, Leicester
17th September – Birthdays, London
‘You Us and They’ is out now via Big Scary Monsters
This Cassels review was written by Luke Priestley, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Stephen Butchard.