Review || Casey - "Where I Go When I'm Sleeping"

For people who don't know (but since you're reading this, you probably do), Casey is a melodic hardcore band from South Wales who created a stir with the release of their first album, "Love Is Not Enough" in 2016. The band released their sophomore full-length, "Where I Go When I'm Sleeping", on March 16th and I will start by saying that I can summarize this album with just one word; "wow".

This isn't another album about heartbreak. The quintet pulled a Being As An Ocean and released their most unexpected, brutally honest and artfully creative music so far. Be prepared, the album is a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions. Considerably (and quite surprisingly) less heavy than "Love...", it takes the band a step further from the wave of the personal-struggles-core bands that currently dominate the genre. Opener "Making Weight" is a terse composition heavily relying on vocalist Tom Weaver's calm yet powerful and emotional voice, transitioning into the juxtaposing and upbeat second track, "Wavering". The lyricism behind the album is of crucial importance; "Please don't mistake my silence for ignorance/I'm trying to be better at this/But I'm sick and tired of self-abusing/And make excuses for why" is a very hard-hitting relatable affirmation of a stagnant and detrimental situation, its realization being empowering enough for a person to begin dragging themselves out of it. "Phosphenes" and "Fluorescents" seamlessly flow on the same side of the spectrum, the latter finding a compelling instrumental crescendo at the 03:18 mark while the vocals remain almost serenading. Alongside the struggle-themed songs, we find "Needlework", the track about betrayal and loss of love, probably one of my personal favorites. I love how nothing is exaggerated on this album. Even the small, at times recurring, bursts of energy are fully calculated and blend back into the character of the song (see "The Funeral"). Finally, the biggest surprise I think was the title track, a beautifully ambient (and quite calming) instrumental song. 
Each member adds a different element in the mix, with the quiet hero being drummer Max Nicolai. His versatile performance on every track, combined with the subtle basslines of Adam Smith, provide a functional understructure to guitarists Liam Torrance and Toby Evans to create their atmospheric patterns.

WIGWIS is a heartfelt and confident endeavor. Both the music and the lyrics demonstrate a remarkable and continuous progress, from the structure of the songs to the toned-down but still intricate, emotion-triggering details. One thing, however, that's really prominent is how the lyrics create a sense of intimacy, as if the listener is reading glimpses of Weaver's diary, "Wound" being a prime (and very likely literal) example to that. And maybe addressing loud and clear struggles with anti-depressants, near-death experiences and the reality that no one is immune to mental and health issues, does indeed work therapeutically both for the singer, as well as the listener who's going through a rough patch. Weaver shines the brightest as a singer and lyricist, showcasing the transcendence of self to overcome the rancorous dread of existence. His band not only fully allows him to, but appropriately enrobes the sincerity of his story with a profound soundtrack. 

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