Ever since the release of their debut album “Love Is Not Enough”, fans of Welsh band Casey have been anxiously awaiting the follow-up, and wondering how it would be able to do its predecessor justice. Would it be a lot quieter? Louder? Disappointing? You can’t create the same thing twice, after all.
“Making Weight” serves as a slow introduction, not building up sonically, but leaving the listener with a sense of suspense as to what will follow nonetheless. With lyrics reflecting on life with multiple illnesses, you get a taste of what’s to come. Guitar-driven and rhythmic, “Wavering” digs deeper into the heavy contents you should have braced yourself for by now. This album, in contrast to Casey’s first one, moves from interpersonal problems to intrapersonal ones. Centered around singer and lyricist Tom Weaver’s health issues, you learn some things that most people would be afraid to even say out loud, let alone share with thousands, potentially millions, of people.
As a contrast to the somewhat familiar sound of the first few songs, “Flowers By The Bed” and “Needlework” dip into new harmonies and explore the biggest fear of most hardcore aficionados: all-clean vocals throughout the entire song. But they will be relieved to find that the absence of yelling does not equal to the absence of desperation and sincerity. It rather connects to the fact that all components that contribute to Casey’s work are equally important, which is proven by the three instrumentals that somewhat serve to separate songs. They create an atmosphere for Tom’s words to swim in and let you catch a breath, but the soft, slow nature simultaneously evokes the feeling of floating in a dark body of water.
Writing about this record would not be complete without mentioning the elaborately crafted lyrics. As the record progresses, they evolve from a reluctant attitude and dwelling on misery to a hesitant inclination towards accepting the love you’re offered. Incorporating some clever wordplay, the last two songs lyrically allude to “Love Is Not Enough” and thereby tie the two albums together.
“Where I Go When I Am Sleeping” is concluded by a spoken-word paragraph about the past that will leave you in tears – well, if you have made it through this album without shedding a single tear, I don’t know whether it means you’re strong or cold-hearted.
Faultless Rating: ✔✔✔✔✔
Song recommendation(s): Wavering, Needlework, Morphine, The Funeral