words by ben tipple
Today’s political and social climate lends itself to punk. Not the often watered down radio friendly filler that nods towards the mainstream, but the charged spite of the genre’s traditional heyday. The broad genre has in its time incited genuine activism, living up to its anti-establishment ethos.
Now, more than any other time in recent memory, the world finds itself in desperate need of a counterculture. At home in the UK, austerity measures are diminishing the wellbeing of everyday people. Elsewhere in the world similar stories unfold, with the humanitarian crisis stretched to breaking point in too many countries across the globe.
As unexpected as it may seems, a young duo comprising two brothers from an isolated Cotswold village are fast emerging as the voice of discontent. As Cassels, they owe much of their sound to punk but stretch it thinly across indefinable instrumentation. Above all else, the sound is intensely urgent.
Their disregard of convention is their calling card. Foreword, a collection of their previous EPs and singles plus three new tracks, isn’t concerned with being widely accessible. It’s challenging, both in terms of its sound and its themes. From its overt declaration in opener “The Weight” (“I hope that cynicism can pass as lyricism.”) to the hate filled closing double whammy of “You Us And They” and “Coolbox”, many of the lyrics are as honest a sucker punch as you’ll hear in modern music.
On the latter, Cassels move away from political commentary to expose their abusive step-father. It’s definitely not easy listening. But then Cassels aren’t about to take the easy route. Their jarring sound and uncensored opinion are designed to rub some up the wrong way. That’s largely the point. For every person who will find offence in Cassels’ music, another will find release.
It’s a soundtrack to unrest, a necessary cynicism seething with youthful anger. It’s proof that younger generations aren’t ignorant or dismissive. In fact, they are really pissed off. Listen to Foreword in full below.
‘Foreword’ is released on April 7th, via Big Scary Monsters
You can buy it here