DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE “IS THIS PUNK MUSIC?”
LIMITED GUESTLIST AVAILABLE
A film by Rod Huart
@ Whirled Cinema, Brixton Tuesday 12th Sept – film starts 7.30pm with Q&A with director and band afterwards
Ahead of their debut album release (“Epithet” coming out on Big Scary Monsters) in October, the precociously young and politicised two-piece Cassels will screen a long form documentary based on the last year of their lives as a band. A study of what it is to make music on your own terms in the modern landscape and what Britain means today to young creatives like the brothers who make up the band, Loz and Jim Beck.
The band’s “Ignoring All The Tunnels And Lights” video, which shows them playing their music to their grandparents for the first time, is featured in part of the finished film and you can watch that here:
Limited entry available to the film, which shows on 12th September at Whirled Cinema which is around a 5 to 10 minute walk from Brixton tube:
They will also play two launch shows for the record:
October 6th – Birthdays, London
October 7th – The Cellar, Oxford
3. War Is A Really Clever Metaphor for Divorce
4. Where Baseball Was Invented
5. You Turn on Utopia
6. Sepia Good Times
7. This Song Has A Name But We Don’t Like To Talk About It
8. Motor Skills
9. Chewed Up Cheeks
Excerpt from “Where Baseball Was Invented”:
Every tweed-clad soul I despise and hate
Crawled by in a procession of top-of-the-line Range Rovers
with personalised number plates
As the crops grow tall all ambition decays
And is instead replaced by a rudderless rage
Expounded each week
Same time, same place
By white faced racists
Who crimson to pink
After seeing red
At the bottom of their tenth drink down The Kings
Then it’s on to B&T
That stands for ‘bitter and twisted’
I don’t think a better example of irony has ever existed
Or perhaps of atrophy
Time drags and sags off brittle bones in the country
There’s no cartoonishly chipper ‘very big house’ in Chippy
For Cassels, music is about authenticity. Together they embody the spirit of punk, even if their sound stretches the boundaries of any genre. It is rare to find a band who sound only like themselves, especially one with just two instruments, but Cassels are just that. The work of two brothers, Loz and Jim Beck, they have been playing music together since long before their voices broke and all that practise has paid off – direct and considered lyrically, musically challenging and in possession of an originality you could never force.
“I’m hoping cynicism will pass as lyricism,” Jim Beck, the driving force behind the sibling duo spits on previous single ‘The Weight’, featured by NME, Dork, DIY, Upset, Gold Flake Paint and a highlight of a “pre-album” that got 5 K’s in Kerrang!.
“I guess it stems from a few places,” he says of the origin for this attitude, “people letting me down, not having a particularly sociable childhood, and our dad’s a pretty cynical guy.”
But in his mind, cynicism is realism. It underpins what Cassels stand for. Their noisy, edgy and sometimes deliberately jarring sound is built around a reluctance to idly stand by as our political climate clouds our futures. It balances apathy with anger, and through it channels a generational voice. A generation who are incorrectly dismissed as being inactive, but who are finding new ways to attack the establishment.
The message lies unfiltered over a unique sound only the UK DIY scene could cultivate. There’s no metaphor to hide behind. Cassels are antagonistic and brash, but more importantly, they challenge the norm, both musically and lyrically.
The lyrics are like contemporary poetry driven by the frustration of socio-political injustices, and fed by the ennui of growing up in a one-horse town. “There’s the old cliché that good lyrics stand up on a page without music, but in reality I don’t think many read well at all,” Jim says scathingly of mainstream music. “At some point I made the conscious decision to try and write words which could be read in isolation without them being obviously identifiable as being from a song.”
‘Epiphet’ features the production work of Rocky Reilly (And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebisi Shank) who captures all the intricacies of the two piece in their biggest sound yet. From the opening salvo of singles “Coup” and “Let”, to the bitter tribute to the town they grew up in – “shitty Chipping Norton” – on “Where Baseball Invented”, onto the call and response hooks of “You Turn On Utopia” and the melodic suss of closer “Chewed Up Cheeks”, the album rarely lets up pace. Disparate, desperate wording set to music that moves from cacophony to melody seamlessly, ‘Epiphet’ further cements their youthful tenacity, and continues to paint them as one of the most unique, and most important, bands of our time.