Review Summary: Cassino have finally come into their own, creating a down to earth record that brims with personality yet feels charmingly familiar.
In April of 2005, Huntsville, Alabama pop-punk act Northstar announced that after several years and two full-lengths they were calling it quits. Just as the dust began to settle, singer-guitarist Nick Torres and guitarist Tyler Odom debuted their new project, Cassino. Cassino's self-released debut, 2007's Sounds of Salvation
, saw the duo embrace their southern surroundings, immersing their pop friendly past with hints of rootsy Americana and countrified folk.
marks Cassino's emergence from Northstar's shadow. Where Sounds of Salvation
was firmly rooted in the same vein of laid back nu-emo that Torres and co. damn near perfected while in Northstar, albeit expanded with healthy dose of Nashville twang, Kingprince
shows that the duo are now feeling at home in their folk-rock shoes. The songs on Kingprince
are stripped down to the core and left to shine in all of their dusty, road-worn beauty. Even the tracks that made their first showing on Sounds of Salvation
have been deconstructed, sounding born again in their new skin.
Nick Torres once again brings his best wordplay to the table. His enigmatic yet endearing lyrics are the needle that weaves the musical string together into the tapestry that is Kingprince
. His gentle drawl playfully delivers clever lines like “And if you're not whole I will stitch that shirt you're wearing/And it will cover holes and stitch the skin you're wearing now and then,” reaching out like a helping hand through the earthy haze of “Djom”, the album's lead off track.
Cassino have finally come into their own, creating a down to earth record that brims with personality yet feels charmingly familiar. For anybody that's a fan of the occasional folk-rock album, this late entry in what has been a magnificent year is not to be missed.