Oxford brothers Jim and Loz Beck form the entirety of the band Cassels, describing themselves as “music for misanthropes and malcontents”, and their third LP, ‘The Perfect Ending’, is honest, punky, and rebellious.
‘Snowflake In Winter’ sets the tone for the album instantly, with a heavy guitar riff intro followed by a spoken word section that gets personal and political before being broken up by another heavy riff, this time with exclaims of “No way / So fake” bringing something more emotional to the tone of the track. There’s a line towards the end of the song, “The late-night polemics of egocentric and overzealous television presenters”, that really speaks to the intelligence and sophistication that follows through the album.
The most poignant track is ‘In The Zoo They Feed Him Nuts’, telling a saddening story of rape and how courts can wrongly perceive situations by how a woman might dress or wrongly place their trust. Cassels use their spoken-word style of singing, along with hauntingly powerful music that rises and falls with the anger and sadness of the story, to produce a powerful piece that’s more art than music.
Tackling another social issue, ‘The Leaking Arc’ is a song with hard-hitting commentary on our attitudes affecting nature’s biggest issues, such as deforestation, poaching, and global warming. The track opens with the quiet sound of an approaching storm accompanied by an eerie bass line, then the lyrics turn to name popular children’s characters, such as Pingu and Dumbo, to drive home the point that we don’t care about what we teach children. Taking no prisoners Cassels shout the line “I have run out of cute ways to say I think the human race is fucking disgusting, mate.” Musically, this track follows the rest of the album with a lot of heavy breakdowns, but, as with each other song, it has its own agenda.
‘The Perfect Ending’ is a heavy album, not just in sound but in mental weight. Not a single track could be described as easy listening, and in that comes Cassels‘ biggest strength, but in turn also their biggest problem. Without letting up it can be a lot for a listener to take in without being in the right frame of mind. Having said this, you’ll be hard pressed to find more truth in a record than this one, and if you’re willing to sit through it and really listen to the lyrics and feel the music, you’ll understand why Cassels write such angry music. It’s the perfect pairing for the tough emotional topics they shine light upon.