Casual Nausea – Demons (TNS)

The self described “glorious frantic mess” called Casual Nausea has released a new record this April entitled “Demons” that is comparable to the first buds of spring after a long and dreary winter, full of life and energy, a riot of auditory colour, passionate and infectious. Yes, I know the language is a bit flowery, but I popped this record on out in the park and it made me want to moonstomp through the daffodils, what can I say?

Hailing from Ipswich, Casual Nausea features Simon & Zoe (vocals), Ed (guitar/vocals) Matt (bass), Shawn (drums).The LP “DEMONS” was released by the DIY/ not for profit TNS records from Manchester and follows their self released demo “Change Your Reality”.

Lyrically this band has a strong political edge right out of the gate that immediately brought to mind the sweet smell of Subhumans and Crass, although to pin this band down that simply would be a hard thing to do. There’s a lot more going on there. This banging LP opens with the first track entitled “Vote”, a powerful and catchy call to arms that urges us all to do what we can to get this shit show of a government out of office (and rightly so)… but that is the last you’ll hear of the band asking us to participate in any way in the system we’re confined to. With songs ranging from commentary on our greed for oil, the oppression of a cradle to grave work existence, to sexual predators among us, they are all about voicing the idiocy and depravity of our system as it stands. The second track entitled “Cockroaches” brought to mind the pride and camaraderie of a DIY existence and happy memories of many a day in a squat with good friends, a few beers and not much else.

Casual Nausea features perfectly paired male & female lead vocals. Simon (with a nasal but gravely shout full of attitude that could be the son of a Restart if I didn’t know better) combined with the powerful and intense, but sometimes velvety smooth female vocals of Zoe with added oomf from the guitarist Ed and the rest of the boys, creates a multi dimensional and layered vocal aspect to the already killer lyrical content.

The entire album courses through with a fast, powerful and angry energy that somehow also manages to be upbeat and leave a gooey feeling of hope in my heart… Pissed off and driving, yet catchy and melodic. From track to track there is no room for boredom as the band changes it up and keeps it lively and interesting with cool sound bytes , nods and riffs from other genres and styles floating in the punk ether, enhancing the flavour of their own unique sound throughout.

The song line up is not only tight and well produced, but the tracks are also arranged in the perfect way… Bringing you up to peaks and cooling you down just at the right time with alternate sound vibes such as the slightly slower, more atmospheric, dub ska tinged tune “Blood in the Oil” before ramping it up again with the energy filled, gypsy/polka tuneage of “Predator”. Throw in some self effacing humour & the best sound byte opener on the record, opening up the hilarious “Defective”, add heaps of swearing, which IS big and clever as we all know, and we have a unique, tight, catchy, memorable, rockin’ record that has me dancing around the kitchen and bopping around the park like a happy, silly punky person… and I have a feeling they’ll be just as good live. Bring em on!

By Rose Phoenix