Review Summary: Leave Me, I've Got Nothing to Hide from You
United Kingdom based post-hardcore act Caskets come out swinging with their long-anticipated debut record after a slew of popular singles and a critically well-received E.P. that helped build the hype surrounding these talented gentlemen. Their knack for massive, powerful crescendos coupled with a unique front man whose lisp-heavy vocal delivery adds a distinctive flair, creates an electric environment that is palpable through the speakers and offers something new in a genre that often feels stale and underwhelming. With each passing song, the band exudes more confidence and poise with their own identity allowing the album to gradually grow and grow into something more emotionally exceptional and rewarding. Without needing to alter the formula too much, Caskets dig themselves into a comfortable rigmarole that is pleasing, dynamic and most importantly, impressive considering this is their first full-length impression.
One of the defining factors of Caskets as I briefly mentioned in the opening paragraph is their vocalist Matt Flood. It’s quite obvious that Flood struggles with a lisp but he’s used that fully to his advantage and created a unique method and identity to his vocals which is both impressive and endearing. His range is unmatched, fluidly maneuvering between softer, tender melodies into grit-tagged belts that characterize a majority of the band’s choruses. While not utilized often, Flood also is able to delve into light fry-style harsh vocals for those more aggressive instrumental sections. A song like “Glass Heart” which was one of the initial singles leading up to the album release, showcases just how talented Flood and the rest of the band are, allowing for those bright synth melodies to breathe throughout the intro and in the bridges and then seamlessly transitioning between nuanced verses and explosive choruses. I also genuinely love the little vocal run that Flood does during the main bridge section where he holds a single vocal line but shifts the melody with the word “place” with those slow double kick drums pounding away and those vocal and guitar layers just expanding that powerful sonic soundscape. This is easily one of the highlights of the record and exemplifies what this band is about.
In terms of their instrumental approach, the band employs bright synthesizer melodies, heavily down-tuned guitars that stay relatively in the background of the mix coupled with layered melodic guitars and a stylistic blend of aggressive drum patterns and a more open, fluid sort of style akin to bands like modern Dayseeker and The Color Morale. Songs like “Hopes and Dreams” as well as “The Final Say” explore the gentler, more power-ballad side of their sound that touches on more emotionally draining subjects while still engaging those big, dramatic crescendos. Then tracks like “The Only Ones” and “Drowned in Emotion” are more explorative and progressive offering slices of heavy breakdown-type bridges while still embracing those softer dynamics with clean sections scattered about. I think it’s fair to say that the band plays into their strengths and doesn’t attempt to deviate too far past the boundaries they’ve set for themselves.
For a debut record, Caskets have offered us listeners a considerably well-rounded slab of post-hardcore goodness. The potential is limitless with the band staff showcasing an excellent cut of talented individuals who all play a vital role in this band’s success. With the band already having accumulated millions and millions of streams from these tracks and the band now beginning to promote for their newest record to be released this year, the trajectory is only up for these guys because the quality is evident, and the appeal is far-reaching. The songs here are catchy and emotionally satisfying and while I do find some of the production to be dry and a bit muddied at times, mostly in terms of the guitar sound and bass mix, the overall aesthetic of these tracks is still addictive and easily enjoyable. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next but for now, these tracks will satisfy until the new record drops.