Album Review: Casey – How To Disappear

Album Review: Casey - How To Disappear
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth greeted the 2018 news of Casey’s impending end as it was seen that the Welsh quintet was only just hitting its not-inconsiderable stride. With but one EP – 2015’s Fade – and a couple of full-lengths in 2016 and 2018 under their belts, it was generally felt these boys still had much to offer the field of post hardcore.

However, last year they made an unexpected return with a series of live shows and the 7” Atone / Great Grief; now, for this new year, they have returned with album number three: How to Disappear.

Not much has changed for the band in the five-year hiatus, except for a maturation of their sound and of the intensely personal lyrics, penned by vocalist Tom Weaver, candidly drawing on his own experiences with ill-health and occupied by the idea of absence.

The briefest look at the track listing suggests this is not going to be an out-and-out party record; with titles like I Was Happy When You Died and Those That I’m Survived By, it’s quite clear there are difficult themes at work here.

Album Review: Casey - How To Disappear

Yet don’t be fooled into thinking the title matches the output, for I Was Happy… is built around an edgy pop progression, underscored with an eminently danceable beat before descending into a liquid climax. Even though …Survived By begins with simple acoustic melancholy it soon ripping into some of the most savage music on the record.

Guitarists Liam Torrence and Toby Evans have many a moment to shine across How to Disappear, from the soaring chords and clean sound of the deeply emotional opener, Unique Lights, to the cosmic sounds of Space Between and the intense moments of Sanctimonious.

Bite Through My Tongue, Puncture Wounds to Heaven and the title-track, How to Disappear, prove Casey’s rock band credentials, but it’s the wistful Selah, the ballad, Blush and the morosely danceable For Katie that builds on the band’s history of being one of the country’s foremost post hardcore/ emo exponents.

Before embarking on a full UK/EU headlining tour later in the year, Casey will be off across the pond in support of fellow Welshman, Holding Absence; and it is the Cardiff band that Casey is closest to in terms of energy and emotional depth.

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