Monday 20 May 2019

Cassilis - Quitting

Labels: Zegema Beach Records/Square Of Opposition Records/The Ghost Is Clear Records/Black Lake Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 24 Apr 2014


1. American 90s
2. Rat Pack
3. Boat Owners
4. Bloom Brigade
5. Softie
6. Sad Products
7. Jaw Session
8. Bone Sled
9. God Hair
10. King Jake
11. Groan Sleeve

Needed to get back on it so here's the newest review in my Zegema Beach Records roster series. This one goes back to 2014, when Philadelphia (PA, USA) quartet Cassilis released their second full-length "Quitting". It was released on single-sided vinyl with a screenpinted b-side, limited to 500 copies at the time of release. It contains 11 tracks filled with heavy hardcore/punk. Given that most of the bands that I've written about in this series so far are no longer releasing stuff, it's good to know that Cassilis are still active.

I’m going to be reviewing more punk and emo music this week, so this may be a bit noisy to start with but it still fits the theme. American 90s is a hell of an opener. Full of intense post-hardcore riffs that stay on the right side of being tough-guy and a dark atmosphere that’s helped by the huge drum sound and caustic vocals. There’s plenty of feedback too. The opener is a slight anomaly on ”Quitting” as Cassilis is actually pretty off-kilter and technical, as demonstrated on Rat Pack. They’re not afraid to keep things short, like on Boat Owners, which lasts just shy of sixty-seconds and is held together with genuine emotion and anger.

It’s all fairly mid-paced, which is a little surprise but that’s not to it’s detriment at all. Bloom Brigade seems to just get louder and louder, especially in the vocal department. They don’t dominate the recording by any means but when they are in full flow, the musical textures are hidden somewhat. Softie comes and goes with more hardcore attitude and power, while the rumbling, feedback-ridden noise of Sad Products is not an easy listen, even if it is an instrumental. It’s a barrage that will rattle your teeth when turned up. It acts as a precursor to the metallic madness that is Jaw Session. It reminds me of something that Snapcase would have written for “Bright Flashes”, although this is more technical to these ears.

Their rhythmic prowess shines through on Bone Sled, thanks to a great percussive performance. It’s part of something that’s hard to describe, as it’s a song that features elements from different styles of heavy music but also funk and even some metal (if I’m hearing it right). God Hair sounds like a hellish take on a Spaghetti Western theme song to start with, especially in the guitars but it descends into something all the more chaotic later on. It’s great! Following more twisting feedback, penultimate song King Jake hammers home the point with more loud and raucous punk. Cassilis waits until the end to perform their longest song on “Quitting” and it’s no surprise that the build-up to Groan Sleeve is harrowing and ringing with different pitches. It’s got the rock n roll swagger about it and the shouty attitude that means that you can’t play it too loud when there’s people living above and below you (like in my abode).

This record is over as quickly as it started. Cassilis makes a serious racket but that’s a good thing. Punk and post-hardcore continue to undergo shifts in their styles and bands continue to experiment. This album, given that it’s over four years old now, is just one example of that. Great noisy stuff. They have new songs up on their Bandcamp, so hopefully a full release will follow.

You can stream and purchase "Quitting" directly from Cassilis below:-

There are still copies of this record for sale out in the wild. Visit the links below:-

Zegema Beach Records -
Square Of Opposition Records -
The Ghost Is Clear Records -

Square Of Opposition Records -
The Ghost Is Clear Records -

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