Newcastle trio Casual Threats are finally ready to put their money where their mouth is this month, as they release their debut mini-album after spending the last 18 months honing their skills.
The time they’ve taken to explore their sound has more than paid off on Life From Below; it’s a vital, angsty, pissed-off record full of post-punk hostility.
Opener Stalking Awareness goes straight for the jugular, a riot of meandering guitar lines, mile-a-minute vocals and beefy bass; decrying “I will not be one of them” in increasingly desperate pleas, it’s an emphatic start to an album which is laden with post-punk aggro and surprises aplenty. Canonize’s clash of instrumentation jars pleasingly with a relatively chilled vocal; while the awesome Extra Maritime Affair drips with sleazy overdriven guitars and a guttural groove which goes straight to your sexy bits and rumbles rudely. Short sharp Suarez goes straight for the solar plexus, while Erotic Diagram’s Nick Cave-esque vocal howl over sparse instrumentation is subtly beautiful. Sovereign Gore’s aural assault returns the band to familiar territory, with some brutal breakdowns and a backing vocal that tips the track from pretty damn good to fucking excellent. The title track’s crystal clear sharp percussion and sparky guitar wails owe much to the technical skills of Mouses’ Steven Bardgett, who recorded, mixed and mastered the release, co-produced by the band.
Having already built a solid live reputation, Life From Below serves to prove that Casual Threats really are the full package. See them in all their live glory at Newcastle’s Head of Steam on Friday 28th and The Green Room in Stockton on Saturday 29th October.