Review Summary: "There's no mountains in this neighborhood but the view from this roof isn't bad."
Imagine spending a chilly day out in the sun with your closest friends in which nothing really seems to go wrong. One of those days in which you feel glad to merely exist and have the privilege of coexisting with others, one of those days in which nothing is amiss and everything goes according to plan even though nothing's been planned. Castevet has basically made the soundtrack to these kind of days with their 2010 extended play The Echo and the Light
. By streamlining the post rock infused emo found on their debut Summer Fences
, the lads of Castevet have released a half hour of power that is almost ensured to brighten your day.
Now, when I say that Castevet has streamlined their sound, i mean that they've almost completely eschewed their post rock influence in favor of a quicker, more upbeat punk style. Twinkly guitars still abound, they're now just more immediate and complex. This makes for a very listenable album, one full of rock solid riffing that simply doesn't get old. The tapping found in "Narrow Hallways" is about as tasteful as it gets, and the jangly playing on the screamo influenced "Lautrec" is a nice inclusion. While the tracks on this EP don't engage in any typical form of song structure, the strength of the riffing found here is more than enough to keep things interesting. Add to this some tight drumming and solid bass playing and you have the base of Castevet's sound.
Castevet could be an instrumental band, and a great one at that. However, this would subtract from their sound the great pipes their vocalist possesses. While he is often a polarizing force for listeners, I find the Chuck Ragan-esque vocals to be a great addition to the already emotionally resonant music. The gruff, half-yelled-half-sung vocals add an entirely new dimension to the music, especially when some good old fashioned gang vocals are thrown in for added effect. Besides, these songs basically beg to be shouted along with. I definitely wouldn't want that aspect of Castevet's sound to disappear.
If you're looking for an aural pick-me-up, or if you're just a fan of the recent emo resurgence, then this album is quintessential stuff. Castevet's blend of mathy emo stylings with gruff, bearded-punk vocals is something that's extremely enjoyable and just plain happy. While after repeated listens this EP can sound a tiny bit homogeneous, that's the only real error Castevet commits. I look forward to further releases from these guys, as they'll almost certainly improve. That is quite the exciting prospect, eh? In short, i have this to say: Bravo Castevet, bravo.