Castaway – ‘Bleak’ EP
Castaway – Mansfield, United Kingdom.
WILLLLLLLLLLLLLL-SONNNNNNNNNNN! Sorry… but it had to be done.
Castaway, a 5-piece Punk/Post-Hardcore band from Mansfield, UK. We first came across the band whilst looking for some new music for you lovely lot a little while ago. We found a lot of bands from all walks of genre that day; so keep an eye out. However, currently it’s all about getting lost with Castaway.
The band’s sound sits somewhere between a general Punk sound and the more modern end of Post-Hardcore. While on that subject, these days, a lot of this modern crap that is labelled as Post-Hardcore is really just some kind of warped Pop/Punk/Metal/Shit amalgamation, and doesn’t remotely sing true to the Punk scene, and the great bands and artists of the past 30 years. Many bands these days mix the genre’s varied and diverse characteristics, which although, as I said ARE diverse, still have a recognisable sound – i.e. it’s all different, but it’s roots are set firm.
1. Bleak – ‘Bleak’ kicks us off with an ambiance reminiscent or Post-Rock or Post-Metal. As an intro track it works well, in fact, before the vocals kick in you could have mistaken it for an instrumental and not have been disappointed. Regarding the vocals however, they hit you like something off a Fugazi album. Think Guy Picciotto or Ian Mackaye – high reaching and hard hitting – whilst well accompanied by the ambient notes from the beginning, along with a heavy set of guitar work.
Ending the track we are played out with simple, fading notes and a vocal serenade. Track one makes for a good start.
2. Blank Book – ‘I’m making a cocktail of sadness and hate and pity and sorrow…’ Concerning the hollow feeling of emotional shock or stress, track 2 is a heartfelt song. Musically, it’s at a faster tempo that the previous for the most part. Beginning with a solid riff driving us onward into deep chugging and more solid deep rhythms. ‘Blank Book’ is both heavy and melodic.
The shouted vocals and quieter ambient sections are back, and work well within this song. Two tracks in, it strikes you as something of a staple of this bands sound. A good mix of vocal styles is welcome, as the strained, hard-edged vocals, faded shouts and melodic vocals, merge well and reflect the mixed melodic/heavy nature of the music.
3. Storyteller – If you’re a fan of Make Do And Mend, then this track is for you. Another mid-tempo track, ‘Storyteller’ settles into the band’s hard-edged groove for the verses, and smoother melody for the chorus’. ‘I tried giving up, I came close, swallowed you inside my head – won’t go away. I’ve got high expectations, but low self esteem…’ Fighting memories and demons is never what you would call fun.
Sung with the gruffer vocal style, track 3 is another example of the band’s heavy, yet melodic, easy-listening style.
4. 5 9 – A bit more on the Punky side of things, track 4 gives off a Hot Water Music vibe in its lead guitar notes, as well as a classic upbeat bass-line. Much more upbeat than the previous tracks, ‘5 9’ adds a bit of variety to the EP. Plus, we’re played out by a guitar solo, and a good one at that.
No complaints on track 4, but it is a great example of something that I would like to see more of from the band, as these faster and upbeat tracks compliment the slower and ambient tracks for balance.
5. Silhouette – Castaway strike me as a band with a sound suited to those underground clubs and venues with acoustics that amplify just about every element of what’s playing into a soaring epic sound that soars above you head – all in one breath.
Anyway… the final track of Bleak leans back towards the ambient side of the band’s sound, with an intro that plays much similar to track one – playing out as you played in in my opinion – and if pulled off, it’s worth doing. With a soaring lead guitar riff over the slower tempo drums, and a crunching breakdown-esque riff, we are led into the band’s softest vocals matched with another good set of guitar work. The chorus, once again, is both memorable and well sung with the harder vocals, and includes group vocals from the rest of the band, a nice touch, and again, something that you can’t help feeling the band should include more of.
A pleasing end to the album. Here, listen…
Bleak, a good debut effort from the Mansfield 5-piece. A solid sound that is only going to get stronger. We at MF give Bleak a respectful 7/10.
Finally if you are a promoter or know any and want to book the band, send them an email – email@example.com.