Regardless if you approve of such an expansion or not, the melodic hardcore scene has ballooned in recent years. Whilst acts such as Being As An Ocean, Touché Amore and Defeater may be perceived as the metaphorical poster boys of such a movement, one band who has been champing at the bit to join such prestigious ranks are the South Wales collective Casey. Following their inception in 2014 they succeeded in captivating the local South West scene prior to gaining national attention with their hand on heart debut Love Is Not Enough. Whilst some sceptics where cynical of the act and dismissed them as a group who adhered to the formulaic conventions of their respective genre, their sophomore release, Where I Go When I Am Sleeping, is undoubtedly prepped to silence such non-believers.
As stereotypically synonymous with the genre, Love Is Not Enough was primarily a record that documented and explored the universally afflicted themes of love and loss. Of course, whilst everyone is perfectly able to connect and relate to these blanketing themes, such a topic has become somewhat exhausted within this genre and has become to be perceived as almost egotistical to some listeners. In contrast, Where I Go is a record that dwells and delves into more personal subjects; a release that focuses on the various medical issues vocalist Tom Weaver has faced during his life.
Some fans may be ignorant to such personal ailments, but Weaver has battled brittle bone disease, ulcerative colitis and mental health issues throughout his life, along with being the subject of a stroke and heart attack. In all, it’s essentially a miracle Weaver is still standing today, let alone acting as the front man of a touring band. The central theme of this record documents this; how Weaver has grown up fighting such horrific medical battles, how it’s effected his life and how such troubling conditions still haunt him to this day.
As you can understand, this all may sound hyper-personal, alien and almost unrelatable to the majority of listeners, but Casey have crafted this record to be lyrically adaptable and flexible against the listeners own issues. Yes, opening track ‘Making Weight’ is inspired by how Weaver’s mother found him unconscious after suffering severe blood loss, but the lyrics documenting the event are constructed in a highly ambiguous manner. Regardless of the subject matter at hand, the lyricism featured within this release can be easily adapted to your own personal tribulations. It’s truly a testament to how this act has blossomed over the years and how they’ve improved upon their writing since their 2016 debut.
However, once you understand the inspirations for these tracks and the events that inspired them, another layer of this record becomes evident. Where I Go glistens with emotion, a sense of personal release and simply feels therapeutic. Those who have listened to Touché Amore’s Stage Four, an album documenting the loss of the vocalist’s mother due to cancer, may feel a slight sense of connection between the two records. It feels like a cathartic release for Weaver, a vessel to release his frustrations and pain, be it physical or emotional.
The writing isn’t the only thing that has been drastically improved within this release. It feels like every element found within Love Is Not Enough has been expanded and amplified. Weaver’s harsh vocals have become towering, thunderous roars that accompany the bolstered musical strictures present. There’s unprecedented level of tension and relief within this record, with dream like machinations breaking down into walls of anxious energy, which such elements only exaggerated with the tender musical interludes present within this release. This is a release that simply just glows with emotion, but presented in a fashion that feels fresh and absorbing. It’s a fresh direction, stark evidence that the group how found how make the most personal of subjects musically engaging and captivating.
In all, Where I Go Where I Am Sleeping is Casey’s most engaging, emotional and musically refined work yet. A record that is set to propel them from their peers and will set them in a unparalleled league of their own.