As many will now be fully aware of, the Beck brothers in Cassels aren’t the most optimistic collective on this dying planet. After all, why should they harbour even a singular shred of optimism? Like the rest of us, they are trapped within the bile filled stomach of a dying nation on a decaying planet, one that we as a species are responsible for murdering. It’s an ideological outlook that was poetically documented on their stellar 2017 debut Epithet, a release that saw Cassels solidify themselves as one of most arresting and sonically progressive bands within the UK DIY scene.
However, even with the sociopolitical climate deteriorating even more since the release of Epithet, Cassels have seemingly found a strand of silver lining in our dire cultural landscape lately. One day, most probably soon, all of this will come to an end. The fires that our race have ignited will inevitably swallow and incinerate humankind, the human race will cease to exist and the Earth will wonderfully recover, completely free of the cancerous growth that is the human race. The perfect ending to the tragic tale of planet Earth and it’s wretched inhabits. This is what Cassels latest record documents.
Opening with the impassioned haste of the previously released ‘A Snowflake In Winter’ before treating us with the personal anxiety of ‘All The St Johns In The World’, whilst many bands may find the dreaded sophomore release a challenging hurdle, The Perfect Ending only amplifies and exaggerates every single element that made it’s preceding offerings so haplessly arresting. The Perfect Ending see’s Cassels double down on their progressive left field progression, erratic, angular instrumentalism and unpredictable electrified kinetic energy. Such a sentiment all becomes transparently evident with the group’s first instrumental track, the live wire ‘Melting Butter’, a track that radiates the duo’s characteristic sardonic cynicism even whilst being devoid of vocals.
Of course, as anticipated, the record still retains the group’s characteristic charisma, education and deadpan humour, with the group once again providing a commentary on contemporary social issues in a fashion in which only they can. It’s another welcome slab of contemporary sociopolitical poetry and commentary delivered via the means of corrosively angular jazz infused neo-post-punk. The tender, yet damning title track, the math rock tinged revulsion of ‘The Leaking Ark’ and the frustrated pessimism of ‘The Queue At The Chemists’ document the obscenity of the modern mindset with bitter fervour, with these tracks providing a dark commentary on how our culture has become a melting point of toxic arrogance and ignorance.
In relation, the record itself is indeed a melting pot, but one of spellbinding instrumentation. Once again, to attempt to pigeonhole Cassels into a singular genre would be a fruitless exercise, with the record fluidly experimenting with elements of post-punk, math rock, noise rock and grunge all whilst never adhering to the limiting sensibilities of a singular scene or genre. With this release, Casssels present their authentic homegrown sound with effortless skill.
However, there are times when the group use their phenomenal skill to truly amplify the horrors that run rampant in our current social and cultural climate. With it’s uncensored poignant commentary on the abhorrent notion of victim blaming, ‘In The Zoo They Feed Him Nuts’ stands as one of the group’s most harrowing and unforgettable pieces of work thus far. With it’s ominous minimalism and it’s cold respective spoken word poetry almost being reminiscent of artists such as Cultdreams, La Dispute and maybe even Scroopius Pip, it’s a track that’s utterly unconformable but crucially cultural vital.
As the apocalyptic, yet contemporarily optimistic nature of the closer that is ‘The Woman In The Moon’ rings out, you’ll most likely be feeling a range of emotions, the majority difficult to pinpoint. The Perfect Ending is a dark, harrowing, humorous, pessimistic yet authentically beautiful social commentary on our current poisonous culture and our race as a whole, one that’s immediately captivating yet one that demands repeat listens to be fully appreciated. One of the most culturally crucial albums to be released this year.
The Perfect Ending is released September 6th via Big Scary Monsters