Thursday, 15 March 2012

Cast – Troubled Times (Album Review)

For anyone - like myself – who consider themselves a child of Britpop (maybe less of a child and more of a teenager!), this year has so far been one of the most exciting in years. First Dodgy release a new album, Blur go back into the studio, and now the perkiest band of the era have re-emerged with their first album for 11 years. So the question is, are Cast still producing the same brand of festival-friendly musical goods?

Firstly, the band have moved away from seemingly “random” album titles, and instead have come up with something appropriate for the here and now of their audience (assuming they are still pitching to the same crowd who bought their records in the 90’s). In terms of their sound though, Cast are still firmly rooted in the 90’s, and frankly is this really a bad thing? There are times on the album where the happy-go-lucky attitude of the music clash with the troubled lyrics, but in my mind this has always been the case.

‘Silver and Gold’ and ‘A Boy Like Me’ are the standout tracks on this album. They display a more mature approach to writing, and a level of musicality other albums and tracks have been lacking. The latter begins with a riff that takes a minute for the brain to catch up with, but then it heads back down the familiar path we’ve all grown up with.

This is a good comeback, and it’s as though nothing has changed. The line-up is the same, the style is the same (if a little more polished), and most importantly the infectiousness is still there. If guitar music is dead (as many have claimed recently), then the new generation will probably not be interested, but I have no doubt the album will be found by all those who enjoyed a muddy festival with great show bands back when guitar music was as its last peak.

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