Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hey Hey: How Great Is This New Album From The Castillians?

I will freely and openly confess my sins today. I have a very pro-PNKSLM bias. I've loved everything I've heard on the label so far and I've no reason to hide that fact. The newest album to join my list of faves is You and Me by The Castillians. I think the band is from Birmingham, U.K. It doesn't really matter where they're from 'cause they sound like they're from outer space.

"Hey Hey" burns through the speakers like the very best, very grimiest Primal Scream track you've ever dreamed of hearing, while "Badboy" is the Sixties Beat Group-raver that the Arctic Monkeys have been trying to make so badly ever since the young Mr. Turner greased his mop of hair. On the title cut of this LP, The Castillians make a racket not unlike the best stuff on the first Supergrass record but with more ugliness lurking in the dark shadows of the cut. As the chorus sparks, I can't understand a damn word of the background vocals but it matters little as the song is infectious. "Piggy in the Middle" and "Coat Tails" hit at the same sort of vibe and there's something really unsettling here but also something wonderfully poppy. Very, very few bands since The Sonics have been able to affect this sort of dark tunefulness so effortlessly.

While there are a few bluesier songs here ("Come What May"), The Castillians are at their best when they are noisy and a bit obviously rude. If "Midnight Ride" is more punk than Page and Plant, there's no mistaking it's Led Zeppelin II-stomp which is sharp and punchy instead of muso and wankish. You and Me ends on the rather trippy charms of "I'll Come Running" which hits at a sort of T. Rex-version of a blues ballad.

The Castillians make warped indie-pop like the best bands on PNKSLM and You and Me is a superb addition to the label's catalog of rawk. I thoroughly recommend this one. Grab it now!

Follow The Castillians on their official Facebook page. More details on the PNKSLM website.