Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Castle Pines -- Summer Blood

This review is a little bit unusual -- the band sent me some of their music a few months ago and before I had a chance to write about it, Castle Pines released its second EP. So this is, essentially, a lit review of the band's entire recorded output. But trust me, you're going to have a great time delving through it all.

First up is Bless This House, which shows just how much the heart (reference to the illustration unintentional) the band has. Castle Pine' compositions aren't simply careful -- they're deliberate. The band borrows from emo, pop punk, a little bit of roots, and mashes it together in a preternaturally confident blend of sounds. "I Saw You on the Radio" is a perfect mix of spleen, wistfulness, and resignation -- the kind of thing that fills up my gas tank.

The "Summer Blood" EP was recorded this May and shows the band's progression five years on. Fortunately, they kept all the good stuff -- meaty guitar bass lines, irresistible guitar hooks, and Leandro Barrientos' massive vocals. The band also veers away the standard punk module on songs like "Black Star Canyon," which marries what the band does best with Latin-influenced beats. (Unfortunately, I don't yet know enough about the dizzying array of Latinx music to put my finger on the genre precisely, but I want to honor it!) It's an exciting composition among the heavier songs on the album.

Lastly (for now), is "Hollow Cause," a beautiful political statement that will reminds readers here of Glossary.

Castle Pines -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, Amazon

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