Casey’s tour has reached the penultimate date, selling out Birmingham’s The Asylum 2 days prior to the show.
Ontario based band RARITY (7.5) did well to warm up the filling venue. From the start, it’s clear that the five piece have a fanbase, with a clear connection between the band and audience being formed almost instantaneously. One of the strengths of their set was communication, using their performance to spread a positive message of mental health as well as producing an energetic performance, playing on top of the barriers and even encouraging moshpits among the crowd. While their set may not have been the most memorable of all, they performed a well-practiced, energetic set to start off the evening.
Coming all the way from Australia, ENDLESS HEIGHTS (7.5) brought a different approach to the musical coagulation of the night. Bringing a more melodic hardcore, emo crossover, their set was far less rampant/angsty, but instead flowed smoothly through the set. While the slight change in style may have thrown audiences ever so slightly, this didn’t hinder the energy on stage in any form. If anything, the lower use of between song talks helped the band keep their carefree, enjoyable style on stage and amongst each other. Endless Heights took advantage of their stage time and definitely did it well.
Embarking on the penultimate date of their EU/UK tour for ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’, CASEY (9) showed just why they can sell out shows. Despite being an album promotion tour, the setlist was well balanced across tracks from their latest album, ‘Love Is Not Enough’ and ‘Fade’ creating a perfectly mixed balance for fans new and old.
Creating an atmospherically ambient sound in a recording is hard enough, but replicating such a style live is another factor. Yet, from the slow ambiance of opener ‘Making Weight’ to the atmospheric instrumental bridge track of ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’, the same feel was captured almost flawlessly throughout the venue. Yet, be it the lighter side of tracks such as ‘Bruise’ or heavier releases such as ‘Fade’, energy amongst the audience and band refused to dip. Despite reaching the end of a twenty-date tour, the energy was the strength of an opening show, with no sign of slowing down at any point of the set.
However, there wasn’t the best communication in-between songs. While there was the odd talk at times, it was mainly down to the music to create a connection between the two sides of the audience and musicians. On the other hand, this amplifies the power Casey truly have at spreading an emotion, a message, even a story across to the audience without even using words or lyrics in their tracks.
Development is also a factor noticeable in Casey’s performance. incorporating ‘Hell’ and ‘Teeth’ from debut ‘Fade’ it’s not only clear that they’ve improved in performance over time, but musically and in a way that they can still appreciate their old music just as much as the new. Even playing different material such as ‘Phosphenes’ and ‘Fluorescents’ from their latest album, each song has the same level of energy, determination and effort put in and is just as appreciated by fans, an aspect that can sometimes cause a noticeable change. In the end, finishing on old favourite ‘Little Bird’, the band put a great closing end to the second to last date of tour, clearly more than satisfying audience members at the same time.
Casey are building up fast. Selling out eight of twenty shows in places they’ve never even headlined before is quite an achievement for a building band. Make sure to catch these guys touring across the year; this is not the last you will hear of them.
Beating the ‘sophomore slump’ curse of a second album is a scrutiny many bands face after a critically acknowledged debut release. However, following on from Casey’s 2016 effort ‘Love Is Not Enough’, the awaited, revealing new album ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ is now up to attempt to build a new height for the melodic-hardcore crossover.
Undoubtedly, Casey have put out a beautiful creation. The flow of the album sticks through the 12-track creation, sweeping through the emotively inclined lyrical stories as told by lead vocalist Tom Weaver. ‘Wavering’ takes the bands more energetic hardcore elements tinged with weaving moments of old-school emo roots influenced by the likes of Touché Amore and La Dispute. Moreover, the wavering hardcore additions are scattered within the record, with raw cleans fueling over half of the albums vocals. ‘Phosphenes’ and ‘Fluorescents’, two of the bands main singles, bringing a crossover of melodic-hardcore packed with a softer emo genre root. As the singles hold much of the albums heavier aspects, this leaves the hidden astonishingly ambient gems left to be discovered.
‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’s’ ethereal components within the truthful storytelling opener ‘Making Weight’ almost brings a prologue to the overall album. The flowing lyrical vulnerability describes the story of Weaver’s mother finding him passed out in the bathroom from his, at the time, un-diagnosed colitis. The simplistic track leaves room for the depth of the track to be realised, and ends with a drawn out note, almost as a link to the next story of ‘Wavering’.
Yet, one thing that must be mentioned in the creation of this album is the intensely subversive backing. Every pattern from the softly added drums to the atmospheric, melancholic laden guitar riffs courtesy of Liam Torrance and Toby Evans that line each individual track. Too often bands use their instruments to add a filling, some extra seconds to an already over saturated track, whereas Casey use theirs to tell a story. Instrumental bridges between tracks can be risky, but the links of ‘&’ and ‘Morphine’ intensify an already intense narrative. It’s sections like this that prove the powerful talent Casey have by not even using lyrics to portray a feeling or emotion. Title track ‘Where I Go Where I Am Sleeping’ falls onto the longer side of the albums instrumentals, yet cleverly brings an enhanced line of beautifully dynamic guitars with a subtle build-up of drive and emotion through Max Nicolai’s drum additions. Even the addition of Adam Smith’s basslines creates a density that darker tracks such as ‘The Funeral’ and ‘Flowers By The Bed’ would have possibly fallen flat without.
Raw vulnerability through releasing deeply personal emotions is a risk many bands choose to avoid. Yet, one thing Weaver has learned is ‘the best way to not stress about it all is to be open and honest’ and this is a phrase that is truthful for each and every aspect of the album. To find an album with such intense emotion in every singular point is hard, and Casey have put out a remarkable effort. Casey’s second release is far from a drag, and if their furthering career is anything to be based off this album, they have a great future ahead of them.
Casey have just dropped the latest track ‘Bruise’ from their upcoming new album ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’.
Newest track ‘Bruise’, to vocalist Tom Weaver, “explores how I feel now about the topics I was writing about on the first record. It also looks forward, introducing the idea that the experiences I’ve been through have left me in a fragile state, which leads into a feeling of guilt and of insufficiency, not feeling deserving enough of happiness.”
‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ is about Weavers personal journey throughout his afflictions in life. “I was diagnosed with brittle bones at birth,” he explains, “and when I was 15 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and at 20 I was diagnosed with manic depression. I’ve also had a heart attack and a stroke and I was in this crazy car accident that crushed half my face. They’re big life events, but a lot of the stuff that’s happened to me medically was stuff that I was just living through at the time. Looking back now, though, I realise I could have died four or five times. I’m lucky to be here.”
‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ is released March 16th 2018 via Hassle Records. Make sure to check out their European tour dates below!
Where I Go When I Am Sleeping – March 2018 Release Shows:
16th – Cardiff – Buffalo Bar (in association with Spillers Records)