Castevet – The Echo & the Light

Castevet - The Echo & the LightMy last review before Christmas, and happily it’s of one of my favourite records of 2010. I’ll have the usual year’s best round-up at some point, but for now why not treat yourself to a copy of Castevet’s The Echo & the Light as a stocking filler?

So, Castevet burst into the consciousness of the punk rock scene in early 2009 with the free release of I Know What A Lion Is, a three-track demo that established them as a young band with some fresh ideas and the songwriting nous to back it up. This was quickly followed the same year by the Summer Fences EP, a clear refinement of the band’s sound and ability. A little over the year on from that first EP, and here they are with their debut album.

A rough short-hand to their sound is the fusion of several strands of post-hardcore; the intimate noodling of late emo and 90s indie rock with the anthemic passion and urgency of melodic songsmiths Hot Water Music. Back in November I reviewed More Songs by Grown Ups, who share a hometown with Castevet and the two bands have obviously developed together, also sharing some similar sensibilities and ideas. Castevet have a more aggressive, raw-edged, throaty approach, and deploy more chords in many songs, but there are still plenty of fantastic moments of twin noodling guitars playing off and with one another.

The song ‘Midwest Values’ (track 6, but don’t skip to it – this entire record should be listened to as presented) is a particular highlight for me, with a pair of tight chord progressions in the chorus that are effortlessly anthemic. ‘Narrow Hallways’ is another belter, but I suspect that everyone will have their own favourites when it comes to The Echo & the Light. It’s an impressively rich album and rarely content to repeat itself, instead exploring the technical possibilities within the beautiful and accessible melodies upon which their songs are based, and never disappearing up the fundament of its own musical proficiency.

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One Response to “Castevet – The Echo & the Light”
  1. Shaun CG says:

    Turns out Castevet are changing their name to the less good CSTVT, as there’s another US band out there named Castevet. Boo.