Having spent yesterday being battered by (much appreciated) precise electronic musings, as we all seemingly spend much time doing these days, it’s incredibly satisfying to slide into some scrappy, completely unpretentious and unselfconscious guitar music that absolutely isn’t trying to be ‘original’. Hence Theo Verney came on like a upper cut to the neck, as “Heavy Sunn”, the opening track to his new EP, gifted us some gravelly, wrong-footing fun. It welcomes you with a sludgy industrial racquet before inexplicably giving way to a joyous anthem of self deprecation and finally slipping into a Tame-Impala-esq wig out. Sublime. Having completed support stints with boys of the moment Drenge amongst others, it seems likely we’ll be seeing much more of Mr Verney out and about.
Whilst we were feeling in need of something more direct than all that laptop tomfoolery, his slightly more vintage tune “Don’t Care” dove in with smashed out chords, a wailing voice almost entirely shrouded in distortion and floor toms that sound like they were recorded in the inside of a cathedral. The whole appeal is that the uncomplicated, heart-directed racquet doesn’t require any thinking about; it’s instantaneous, exactly because you can almost hear exactly how battered the gear was that Theo recorded it on, and it definitely wasn’t composed on a luminous Apple Mac. That’s either a good or bad thing depending on your standpoint, but for now we’re sort of enjoying the more antiquated method of playing and instrument and making some attempt to sing simultaneously.
The title of Bristol-based Casimir’s debut EP Not Mathematics seems like a direct mission statement, as these five introductory tracks are governed by a taste for exploration that guides them away from the pitfalls of becoming just what modern music does not need – another typecast Foals-indebted group of introverts flopping their fringes about the edges of dysfunctional indie music.
That Casimir certainly are not, as Not Mathematics has a much stronger sense of its own identity, a fact evidenced from the teasing 120 seconds of false-start ‘Balancing Act’, to the unabashed scale of that chorus that leaps out of ‘Lucid’ with a confidence in their obvious appeal that most new bands just don’t have. It just sounds like Casimir are already not a band afraid to explore their ideas, whether that be the intricacies of a breakdown that threatens to end the time-space continuum, or just the beautiful simplicity of a heart-arresting chorus.
‘Broken Minds Think Alike’ is the best suggestion of this fact, as it introduces itself with a section of minimalist left-field production that could have just stepped off the set of the recent Atoms For Peace record; what’s most surprising is that Casimir already aren’t leagues away when it comes to nailing down affecting and paranoid wonderings.
Essentially, Casimir are holding our attention simply because for such a new band, they’re already so ambitiously exploring the synthetic and the physical within the framework of their own distinct identity, and doing it without trying to be too clever at all. Like they say themselves, it’s not mathematics.
Not Mathematics is out on Monday 4th March on Fear of Fiction.
Bristol is a city that grabs you by the neck and forces bass culture down you, whether you want it to or not; it must be one of the only cities in the world where timid freshers are inducted by a heady mix of Julio Bashmore and Mosca. It’s fortunate, then, that the city is so adept at popping out genuinely interesting new producers, otherwise the initiation would be far less bearable. The latest in a long line of these talents is Artifact, whose Worn EP was dropped at the start of this week. “Drain” is the perfect introduction to the EP, all hazy synths and misplaced vocals until everything is drawn together into a propulsive house-tinged giant of a submersive floor-filler. Stream the entire EP here.