It has been a long wait for fans of Casual Nausea to get the chance to devour a first album from the Ipswich spawned quintet which formed in 2012 but time fully rewarded with what is destined to be one of the year’s finest, most irresistibly enjoyable moments. Demons is a carnival of punk rock embracing every angle of the genre imagined whilst getting its rabid teeth into the ills of the world. Street and crust punk unites with hardcore, pop, and old school punk across its belligerently devilish stomp and there is still room for plenty of other ear gripping flavours to deviously corrupt and manipulate in one unruly hook strapped triumph of a release.
Demons unleashes 19 tracks with dirty claws into themes such as “working pointless jobs and general pressures of society along with a few uplifting tunes celebrating the DIY punk scene” alongside equally rousing moments when the band is taking the piss out of us and themselves with relish. Maybe surprisingly there are no fillers in that tenacious mass of songs only prize punk agitation in its feral glory.
The album lustily launches at the listener with Vote, handclaps luring in listener and band as their voices arouse attention. It is a 3 barrel vocal machine gun led by the twin bore attack of Simon and Zoe but equally driven by the fierce tones of Ed; anxiety, anger and mischief colluding in every word shoved through ears from the opening breath of this opener to the albums final tirade. The latter’s guitar is not tardy in freeing up scurrilous riffs either, his hooks just as incisive here and thereon in. It is an outstanding start more than matched by the boisterous offensive of Cockroaches, the senses scything swings of drummer Shawn contagiously lethal as Matt’s bass magnetically groans with every throbbing line escaping its catchy stroppiness.
DIY or Die canters in next, an Angelic Upstarts scenting coating Ed’s hook spun coaxing before again the great vocal mix of the band descends on body rousing rhythms. Its proud declaration had the appetite drooling before letting the rapid incitement of Move On work on truculently animated limbs, fists, and vocal chords; its uncompromising spirit swiftly matched within the unapologetically quarrelsome Empty Rewards. Both of the latter tracks go for the jugular with a feisty intent, contagion fuelling each with the second of the two pop punk infested.
One minute of hostile hardcore scrapping under the guise of Another Way is next before Terminator leaps from its cowpunk teasing to harass and ignite participation with its vocal and continued country punk revelry; a pair of tracks which mercilessly got under the skin just as easily as Fuck Up in turn had the throat zealously ranting at the world. Maybe a song which did not quite rise up to the lofty heights of its predecessors there was still no escaping its forceful touch and incitement or the pleasure in the ready submission given.
The album’s title track bullies and seduces with a great blend of resolute aggression and melodic tempting, its virulent catchiness enslaving with the unity of the threesome’s vocal contrasts emulating the texturing of sounds increasingly invigorating the track.
It is hard to pick a best track within Demons but Blood In The Oil is a permanent favourite, its ska/ reggae nurtured stroll irresistible and a hue of The Members delicious while Predator swiped its fair share of the passions with its gypsy punk shaped antics; both tracks quickly harried for matching plaudits by the furious venom spilling assault of Corruption and indeed Defective with its touch in cheek self-deprecation to a pop swinging punk soundtrack.
As suggested there is no weak moment within Demons, just an ordering of favourites, Gonna Blow and Til The Day I Die cementing that success with their respective anarcho punk bruising and old school soaked defiance steeled assertion. Similarly Assembly Lines and Misery added further proof, the song another thick favourite with its raucous dexterity and manipulative prowess bringing hints of bands like 999 and Eater to mind within its more hardcore bred holler.
Attention is just as tightly gripped and enjoyment uncaged across the album’s final trio of tracks; Zombie niggling away with a devious hook throughout and Pay Your Sins Away simply lighting up the passions as Casual Nausea stomp like Les Négresses Vertes inspired guttersnipes. Built To Break finally brings things to a close with a punk fury which just epitomises the character, prowess, and persuasion of band and sound.
Actually show patience and one more treat emerges from the silence in the shape of an acoustic version of Blood In The Oil, a final pleasure to cap what is a quite glorious album. Punk continually gives us major moments to devour and the manic indeed deranged Demons is one real feast to get rabid teeth into.
Demons is out now via TNS Records; available @ https://casualnausea.bigcartel.com/ https://www.tnsrecords.co.uk/shop/tns-releases/pre-order/casual-nausea-demons/ or https://tnsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/demons-2
Pete RingMaster 01/05/2019
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