Instead of relying on magazines to deliver info on a weekly or monthly basis, it’s now at the literal fingertip of every single person who has access to the internet through blogs, social media outlets, streaming platforms and more. This has changed how promotion, especially in the entertainment world, works over the past decade as what was once a tried and true method had to be adapted to. In the music industry and more specifically, the non-mainstream genres, music promotion has evolved into letting the people who are so deeply invested in it (the fans) become part of the process. By utilizing YouTube, music fans have created channels dedicated to prominently displaying their favorite artists, songs and genres. One such successful channel in the hardcore realm is Dreambound, which helped launch a once relatively unknown band that goes by the name of Casey. Formed out of South Wales, UK in late 2014, they quickly reached internet fame through their forward pushing of the hardcore genre and are now set to unleash their debut album, Love Is Not Enough onto the world.
The album opener, “Bloom” sets the tone for Love Is Not Enough immediately and is one of many stand out tracks, utilizing a darker approach through a consistent, down-tuned guitar riff, crashing hi-hats and aggressive vocals. As the second track, “Little Bird” starts, the bands more melodic side shines through via a clean sung approach and softer instrumentation, but quickly evolves into a heavy hitting, emotional showcase including a brief moment of spoken word. This is the moment that the album becomes a true spectacle and display of musicianship and composition as each track tends to go back and forth between a more somber, thought-provoking style and an agony driven, heart-wrenching approach. By shifting styles from each end of the spectrum within the melodic hardcore sound, Casey ends up delivering a record that hits the highest highs and the lowest lows of the human emotional spectrum.
There is an entirely too appropriate word to sum up the feeling that Love Is Not Enough will leave listeners with upon completion of the record – and that would be vulnerable. The moments of vulnerability are extremely strong and hit often, truly highlighting the records flow and overall track order as listeners embark on the journey presented. Enhancing this state further is an incredibly well done mix that allows the crispness, the emotion and the sorrow to ooze out of the album, creating a deep connection between the band and listener. Just as important as establishing said connection is the ability to maintain it, and through the entirety of what Casey present on their debut record, they do so justifiably as there’s a feeling of pain for every touch of reassurance that lies within the lyricism and delivery, as the rawness is one of the strongest driving forces to the album.
While there are similarities in approach and style to other melodic hardcore outfits, like the brief passages of spoken word, the rawness in approach and teetering of the melodic hardcore spectrum, Casey have crafted a standout debut. From the more upbeat and massive sounding tracks like “Haze” and “Ceremony” to the state of despair as found in “Darling” and “Doubt”, there’s more than just simple chords and relatable lyrics to be found. This was done by taking what other pioneers of the genre have started doing and making it their own, resulting in Love Is Not Enough living in a varied, musical landscape – and one that will be an exemplary display of what the genre can present for years to come.