Casey Jones

I Hope We're Not The Last

Written by: AP on 06/03/2011 14:24:30

Casey Jones formed in 2003 as a side project to Evergreen Terrace, providing brothers Josh and Caleb James a channel for expressing their straight edge beliefs. Because the group never became a priority for its members, its output has widely been criticised as rudimentary and amateurish, but also celebrated as pure and unashamed. This is exactly what makes the band's swan song, "I Hope We're Not the Last", so inspiring; unadulterated and genuine, it is charged with vitriol and self-empowerment.

Musically, too, the album marks a definitive increase in quality, featuring a crisp metallic production and, at last, expert songwriting. Clocking in at just under 25 minutes, "I Hope We're Not the Last" is free of meandering; instead, its modus operandi is to gallop from front to back at an almost hysterical pace. Songs like "Hammer the Nails" and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" are brash discharges of positive aggression that sound like they were played, literally, on the edge of the seat. Indeed, the mighty confidence and confrontational nature of the songs is as liberating as it is devastating.

But the suffocating antagonism is just one of the defining aspects of "I Hope We're Not the Last"; it is also penetrated by equally explicit, intense melodies that make the album possible to appreciate on not only a cathartic level, but also from a purely instrumental standpoint. If the latest releases by Comeback Kid, Your Demise and, indeed, Evergreen Terrace struck a chord with you, "I Hope We're Not the Last" proves there's more where that came from - most notably in "Fisher Price My First Friends" and the eponymous, monolithic album closer which sees the band harness their chaotic tendencies into a slow-burning final goodbye.

Granted, "I Hope We're Not the Last" hardly breaks new ground. But with it Casey Jones realize the full extent of their potential; making it a bittersweet affair with disbanding now imminent. It would have been interesting to see if Casey Jones could have risen from being a decent straight edge hardcore band to an essential one, but at least they've decided to go out in style.

Download: Hammer the Nails, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Louisa, Fisher Price My First Friends, I Hope We're Not the Last
For the fans of: Champion, Comeback Kid, Evergreen Terrace, Your Demise
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.01.2011
Eulogy Records

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