DC Rock Live
7/22/2016- *Review of 7/21 Breaks vinyl release show at The Pinch w/ Borracho, Horseburner, The Ravenna Arsenal, and Matter of Planets* Caustic Casanova – I just saw this trio, long one of my favorites, less than two months ago, so nothing changed too much from that review. A bit of tinkering with the set list as we began with the opening riffs courtesy of Mr. Nugent (he won’t notice, he’s busy this week) that work into one of their newer metallic crunching songs with the usual artistry within (something Ted could not touch with a ten foot bow). They keep the sonics coming with all the creative flourish that you come to expect and the crowd is enjoying it all. They unify all the elements previously heard tonight and add a few spices of their own to what is now a long but fulfilling night. Another cut reminded me of Budgie jamming with Led Zeppelin until some how a Rush song emerged. There is plenty of psychedelic intensity as well, as this trio knows how to play with all forms of metal and beyond to concoct something unique. And they continue to work hard and tour frequently. And next week they are off for TEN WEEKS. So if they come your way, do check them out. You will not be sorry.
Web link to this review here
DC Rock Live
5/28/2016- *Review of 5/27 show at The Black Cat in DC w/ Kill Lincoln and Psychic Subcreatures* Caustic Casanova – My favorite homegrown trio is back and I am seeing them for the first time in a long, long while. Although I have missed them, it does offer an opportunity to take a more fresh view without the memories of recent reviews in my ever evaporating short term memory. All the signature moves are there: Stephanie’s accurate powerhouse drumming along with increasing vocal help; Francis’ vocal intensity and throbbing bass runs; and Andrew’s sonic assault guitar style that keeps it psychedelic in sound but metallically powerful throughout. The one thing that strikes me is that all the touring has paid off with an even more together and confident band that has the great noisy style that Hüsker Dü used to employ by keeping transitional noise going between songs that never allowed you to catch your breath. And the songs are distinct enough to have their own character, although tonight it was more about the overall effect. As usual they had my mind wandering around to all kinds of great music from different scenes and eras as their opening riff took me back to Ted Nugent’s ‘Stranglehold’ (?!) and their closing freak-out reminded me of the MC5 cutting into ‘Black to Comm’ but not quite hitting the Paik finish (which is possibly one of the best all-time). And based on the big ovation at the end, the sonic effect of the entire powerfully constructed set worked on all the enthusiastic rockers in attendance. They are off to explore the country further this summer, so if they head to your town, do yourself a favor and check them out.
Web link to this review here
Washington City Paper ‘Do This’
5/25/16 – There’s a scene in John Carpenter’s outrageous post-apocalyptic action flick Escape From L.A. in which Kurt Russell’s one-eyed protagonist Snake Plissken surfs a tsunami in the Los Angeles River before jumping off his board onto a car speeding alongside on a freeway. It’s perhaps one of the most ridiculous movie scenes from the ’90s and one I like to imagine inspired the local surf-punk quartet Psychic Subcreatures to start a band. On its impressive eight-song demo, the band’s fierce, stylized blend of post-surf psychedelia and goth-tinged punk rides a wave of reverb, anchored by singer Ariana Stone’s sometimes-mumbling, sometimes-growling vocals. They’re exactly the kinds of tunes that would perfectly soundtrack that scene (yes, I have field tested this; it syncs up incredibly well). On Friday, the band opens for ska-punk outfit Kill Lincoln, another group of locals who share an affinity for the ridiculous but don’t play out much anymore now that singer/guitarist Mike Sosinski has moved from D.C. to the West Coast. Rounding out the bill is the sludgy prog-rock trio Caustic Casanova, whose latest album, Breaks, hits hard with huge riffs and thundering drum fills. Plissken would approve. Psychic Subcreatures performs with Kill Lincoln and Caustic Casanova at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $10–$12. (202) 667-4490. blackcatdc.com. (Matt Cohen)
Web link to this review is here
8/21/2015 – Hailing Washington DC, Caustic Casanova has a lot going for them in the route of catchy-as-hell songs, while still maintaining some fresh and inventive new ideas. Their new album Breaks has so much packed into it that I don’t even know where to begin.
If there’s anything I know for sure, it’s that I have to commend them for their heavy and brilliant use of the bass guitar. It’s perfectly mixed with the guitars to the point of where they cooperate beautifully together through the tracks, pulling together some amazing solos on both ends.
As mentioned before, there’s so much packed into this album, specifically in the area of tone, it’s hard to pin-point because of the high amount of mixtures that can be found in this record. It goes all the way from psych rock to post punk, some heavy forms of metal, and even blues. It’s amazing to hear a band that can manage to pack all of these different influences within just a single album, and in an original manner. The lyrical content, on the other hand, is a bit on the odd side. Political flavors arise, whether it be the song titles or the actual lyrics themselves. The clean style of vocals that all three of the members lend to the songs—sometimes getting a bit louder and more abrasive—fits within the songs they’ve created.
If you’re wanting to listen to something with new and interesting ideas, I recommend checking this album out when it releases this September. I honestly had a ton of fun listening to this album, as it’s one of the best heavy rock/metal albums of this year, hands down.
Web link to this review is HERE
8/5/2015 – You can’t pin this album down in a single genre. It is a rock album, but it is psychedelic, punk, grunge, metal and so many more. This album, besides being a great listen, is almost a résumé; a, “look what we can do” type of album that fires on all cylinders.
Each song feels like it was picked from a different album, but they blend together well. Fans of Black Sabbath, as well as fans of Queens of the Stone Age and even Explosions in the Sky will find tracks on this album to enjoy. Caustic Casanova has tried to break down the walls between genres and fans and create a blanket album to cover all fans.
The truly interesting thing is that none of the songs feel rushed, cheated or forced. Caustic Casanova actually seems like they excel in all of these areas. There is not a bad song on this album and it is impossible to tell which style is their favorite.
Web link to this review is HERE
8/4/2015 – Feature interview conducted by Timothy Anderl at Ghettoblaster HERE
babysue.com, LMNOP aka dONW7
8/3/2015 – The folks in Caustic Casanova are back and sounding better than ever. After releasing two well-received albums (Imminent Eminence, 2008 and Someday You Will Be Proven Correct, 2012), they embarked on a SXSW tour…only to have their original guitarist suddenly leave the band. Afterward they tried continuing as a drum and bass duo but that didn’t seem right. Another setback was that the drummer at one point experienced serious wrist injuries from which she had to recover. They finally had to make a decision whether to continue or go off in some different direction. After enlisting Andrew Yonki to play guitar, the decision was obvious. Caustic Casanova was back in business and ready to forge ahead. Once again produced by J. Robbins, Breaks picks up where the last album left off. This band has a sound and style that will remind folks of 1980s and 1990s underground guitar rock. These tracks sound like a real band playing real instruments. And they’re not at all afraid to turn up and make real noise. Breaks is a true rock and roll album, full of furious rhythms, loud guitars, and plenty of focused aggression. Seven thundering rockers that will please even the most jaded music fans. Killer cuts include “Thundersnow,” “Elect My Best Friend For A Better World,” “The Forgiveness Machine,” and “The Painted Desert.”
Web link to this review is HERE
Two Guys Metal Reviews
8/2/2015 – As I’ve said many times, I’ll cover a band if their name makes me laugh, and Caustic Casanova are one such band. That being said, they also bring forth a really powerful and interesting sound that is rather unlike anything I have ever heard. What these guys do is add touches of doom metal to a crushing rock sound and use double male and female vocals to help get some interesting effects into the mix. Toss in psychedelic freakouts and poignant solos and you have yourself their new record Breaks a surprisingly satisfying LP that will have you coming back for more. The tasteful interplay that the band base their sound off of is endlessly interesting to me and helps to make Caustic Casanova stand out in a crowded field. These guys are coming at you with top notch compositions that refuse to follow your goddamn rules and instead have you opening your eyes to delve deeper into the world of heavy music. Are you ready to take the plunge?
Web link to this review is HERE
DC Rock Live
It has been a while since I have last seen one of my all-time favorites in the DC area, which is ok by me as it has allowed a lot of good things to happen for them. They are signed to Retro Futurist Records and will have a second album out soon. They have done well on some lengthy touring and have gotten all the tighter as a result with plenty of new songs for me as well. And they laid it on thick, fast, and with a more demonic edge tonight. They still have a great psychedelic sound in their metallic approach, but add a lot of distinct personal elements. They even had a guest vocalist (George Burton, I believe) who chipped in by writing some words to a strange instrumental cut that reminded me again of MX-80 Sound (I rarely get to say that, so I keep bringing it up whenever possible). The newer songs are more for fans of Boris, Kylesa and Tool, and many more. I liked how they had a lot more double vocals now with the female voice of the drummer added to the male bassist voice. Although they struggle to get above the pummeling sound, they end up succeeding for me and the decent Tuesday night crowd here. They are hitting on all cylinders now, catch them while you can.
Taken from a review of the January 20th 2015 show at The Velvet Lounge in Washington, DC by David Hintz
Stereo Embers Magazine
Lengthy interview conducted by Paul Gleason is HERE
Stereo Embers Magazine
Anthemic, infectious, powerful, uplifting – these are only some of the adjectives that come to mind when you play Pantheon: Volume 1, the single that Caustic Casanova have released on their Bandcamp site. Caustic Casanova hail from Washington, D.C., and their sound on Pantheon: Volume 1 hints at some of the great bands from that city, especially Rites of Spring and Fugazi. Add some Nirvana and Hüsker Dü melody (on records like Flip Your Wig and New Day Rising) and some Mission of Burma intensity, and you have a band that has all the right influences. But influences only go so far, as Pantheon: Volume 1 attests. Bassist and vocalist Francis Beringer, drummer and vocalist Stefanie Zaenker, and guitarist Andrew Yonki know how to make things new.
Caustic Casanova’s most recent LP, Someday You Will Be Proven Correct, proved this all too well. It was an eclectic monster of a record that should have made every critic’s Top 10 list in 2012. Beringer and Zaenker appeared on Someday, and now, with the addition of Yonki on guitar for Pantheon, Caustic Casanova are even more formidable. They’re stronger, tighter…
It’s no wonder, then, that Yonki gets “Glossolalia” – the first song on Pantheon – started with an energetic and melodic guitar riff, which leads to Beringer’s anthemic and catchy vocal melody, supporting it note-for-note. But the band doesn’t settle with great pop-punk. They stop the pop mid-song and create a noisy and quite beautiful soundscape that resolves into a tremendous Yonki guitar solo, to which Zaenker contributes the rumbling fury of her drums. Caustic Casanova save the best for last on “Glossolalia.” As Yonki takes the song to new heights with some high-pitched notes, Beringer and Zaenker trade off vocal parts, the former carrying on the melody and the latter screaming the band to some chunky, song-ending riffing.
“Forever My Queen” is the second and final track on Pantheon. It’s a cover of a song by the D.C. proto-metal band Pentagram, and it sounds like Black Sabbath decided to condense their sound into a precise 2:30 single. Yonki is so good on this track that the riffs, solos, and tone sound like they could have come out of Tony Iommi’s amp, and Zaenker rocks as hard as Bill Ward ever did. But Beringer is no Ozzy on the track – and that’s a good thing. The melody, which he sings with an introspective desperation, belies its confidence only to demonstrate the insecurity of the lyrics. If you ever wondered what it would be like to hear Robert Smith or Ian Curtis front Sabbath, you’ll know after hearing “Forever My Queen.” And, after hearing Pantheon, you’ll be ready to hear what promises to be a fine forthcoming Caustic Casanova release on Retro Futurist.
You can purchase Pantheon: Volume 1 HERE.
Web link to this review, written by Paul Gleason, is HERE
In town from D.C. with a new 7-inch, Pantheon: Volume 1, produced by Jawbox’s J. Robbins and featuring a cover of “Forever My Queen,” Caustic Casanova respects their forebears while crafting smart originals and will release a series of similar 7-inches. 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at Uncle Lou’s Entertainment Hall, $3. PICK OF THE DAY.
Taken from a preview of the October 16, 2014 show in Orlando, FL by Ashley Belanger
Retro Futurist‘s most recent signing, Caustic Casanova, rolled through town a couple weeks ago and delivered a scorching set of proggy, heavy, post punk at Hang Fire….Next up was Caustic Casanova, a hard to pigeonhole rock trio out of the nation’s capital. They play a complex blend of post punk, almost metal, progressive, stoner rock, powerful psyche, I don’t know, let’s just call it heavy rock. Great set with interesting time changes and heavy grooves that I really dug. I was so impressed that I left with a double album in hand (recorded by J. Robbins and mastered by Bob Weston, how’s that for some indie rock mega credit?). With any luck the Retro Futurist ties will pay off with Savannah becoming a regular tour stop.
Taken from a review of the October 8, 2014 show in Savannah, GA by Tom Cartmel in Hissing Lawns Magazine
In my final shipment of my Retro Futurist subscription, there was a seemingly random 7″ single included amongst the other insanely cool goodies (seriously, have you guys seen the 12″ Kylesa Live Studio Improvision?), Pantheon: Volume 1, by Caustic Casanova. An initial spin revealed, to my ear, a heavy take on the melodic, hooky, post punk of the late era Dischord Records/Washington D.C scene. A conversation with Philip Cope of Retro Futurist a few days later confirmed that Caustic Casanova would be joining their growing, excellently varied roster of artists. I highly recommend checking them out at Hangfire Wednesday if you like your rock on the heavy side (but not really metal) with real melody running through it. Actually, just check out their Bandcamp or the video below and then come out to the show.
Taken from a preview of the October 8, 2014 show in Savannah, GA by Tom Cartmel in Hissing Lawns Magazine
Lengthy interview with Caustic Casanova is HERE
Though they don’t sound like Kyuss, Caustic Casanova recalls those stoner wizards. Both bands take the overblown nature of hard rock and inflate it, resulting in absurdly muscled über-psych. Rather than cash in on cocaine-and-motorcycle wet dreams, though, Caustic Casanova takes their hard rock to cartoonish extremes, allowing themselves to sing lines like “short commute/live forever” with mostly straight faces. Bedowyn and The Manimals open.
taken from a preview by Corbie Hill of the July 13th show at Slim’s Downtown, Raleigh, NC
DC Rock Live
I am too lazy to look back at the number of reviews I have written on this local favorite of mine, so feel free to roam the archives. There has been a significant growth over this time, much of which due to the guitarist change some months back, so there is always plenty to look closely at while enjoying their sound. The good news is that the guitarist integration is pretty well complete and the band seems as comfortable as ever. They blend their songs with noisy transitions and play off each other well. Even the few times they seemed a little lost in between songs, they never veered from the formula. And that formula is to create intelligent and interesting alt-metal with plenty of psychedelic touches and rhythmic flourish. The songs are powerful with lots of personal twists that set them apart from the pack. It is best just to dive in and experience for yourself. And the good news is that from coast to coast, many cities will be getting that experience beginning next week. It is scary to think how much more together they may get when they return with a long tour’s worth of shows under their belt.
taken from a review by David Hintz of the July 6th show at The Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington, DC
Ticket Alternative Live Blog
This shredfest of a night in DC began with the hometown sound of Caustic Casanova. This group with revolving members hit the stage with what they call ‘Mark II,’ the trio consisting of Stefanie Zaenker, Francis Beringer, and Andrew Yonki. Zaenker’s drumming provided the relentless lead for the boys to squelch and wail over without hardly a breath in between. With the exception of a quick intro and shout out, CC basically weaved their set together seamlessly, beginning to end. Even the song they dubbed “slower” wasn’t much of a break for them, or the audience. Caustic Casanova is an intense way to start your night, that’s for sure.
taken from a review by Tommy Dingus of the April 17th show at The Black Cat, Washington, DC
DC Rock Live
This trio has long been a favorite of mine as they’ve graced many stages in the DC area for several years with creative prog-psyche nu-metal sounds. Their songwriting is more creative than most with intelligent lyrics and interesting vocal work. This is their second show with their new guitarist who now seamlessly fits in to their sound. His style is a little less startling, but his guitar sound has that heavy psyche vibe with great tonal control. I bet he doesn’t know he was warming up with a riff of Roy Harper’s “One Man Rock’n’Roll Band” (actually it was Jimmy Page playing that and this neither here nor there, but it was one of those lightning bolts in my brain) But back to the set, the sound worked out just well enough as the band’s vocals all worked out well with Stefanie’s backing vocals balanced perfectly as she manages to add a nice piercing presence in addition to her powerful drumming. There is a good crowd tonight that has discovered this band over the years. If you have not yet, the good news is that there is still time.
taken from a review by David Hintz of the March 23rd show at The Pinch, Washington, DC
DC Rock Live Review Link
DC Rock Live
I have been a big fan of the band and have reviewed them countless times (actually I have a record of all reviews, but am too lazy to do math today). It has been a while since I have seen them and there is an extra reason to see this band tonight. A while back, their guitarist moved many states away and although he is still a member of the band, it puts a crimp in their live shows, as they were a trio. The rhythm section had been playing as CC Light and they began the set with this lineup tonight. But, they debuted a local guitarist for the second half of their set which brought back some of their old sound. As CC Light, they still had the chops to be an effective band. The bass playing had always been intricate and flexible, so with a few more chords added, it carried tunes in rock and even funk mode. The drumming was also excellent but was even more dynamic with that added space to fill. But when the guitarist joined in, he captured that spacey psyche-alt metal feel that this band has always done so very well. He added plenty of energy too, and was ripping away nicely, although maybe a bit too much so, as he broke two strings at various points of the set–changing one while maintaining some feedback and sustain while the rhythm section jammed away. The last cut reminded me of Amon Duul II, although they ratcheted up the heavy. So the good news is to stay tuned in, Caustic Casanova is still a vibrant and welcome force on the scene and hopefully will get plenty more shows in 2013.
taken from a review of the January 28, 2013 show at Galaxy Hut, Arlington, VA
DC Rock Live Review Link
Somewhere after the break up of Bauhaus and the rise of Gene Loves Jezebel and Dead Can Dance, goth music became synonymous with ambient, drifting and forlorn sounds. That is to say, the general consensus of goth music was that it was wimpy. In a way, it’s unfortunate that goth became associated with such a tag because the founders and forefathers of the genre had some nasty, muscular guitars, such as Bernard Sumner, Daniel Ash, Robert Smith and even the mighty Tony Iommi. While Caustic Casanova do not explicitly refer to themselves as goth, they use many of the trappings of the genre including macabre lyrics, wailed vocals and a general sense of dread. But, in lieu of wispy ambiance, the band drives their music forward with classic rock/hard blues rock riffage which gives the music distinction but also, somewhat clouds up its ornateness.
Someday You Will Be Proven Correct finds the band swimming through dense, baroque songs, all of which are driven by the ghost of Howlin’ Wolf as filtered through rock. Guitarist Michael Wollitz tears out riff after riff. Wisely, instead of relying on a snappy riff alone, through each song he morphs the line so that it becomes wilder and more frantic. Much in the vein of the early blues rockers, the band often waylays into classic rock solos as well as lumbering, drone riffs. To Wollitz’s credit, the guitar lines are muscular and damn snappy. The massive blues riff has been done before, but Wollitz finds new ways to rock out, similar to early Danzig and Sabbath records.
But, while such an approach would normally suggest screamed or shouted vocals, the band opts to use the distanced wail of Peter Murphy and Ian Curtis. This creates an interesting contrast. The instruments are hot and vocals are cold, giving the songs an alien texture and otherworldliness. As with the riffs themselves, each song has multiple parts, shifting and exploring new areas, giving the songs a Renaissance feel in contrast to the current glut of garage rock monochromatic two-minute blasts.
Still, while the band does create an interesting animal, at times it seems too cluttered. The bass and guitars and drums and vocals are all interesting, and all continually evolving, but they seem to fight each other for space on the album. Instead of playing off each other, supporting each other or retreating to give one instrument spotlight, the trio almost always seems to run up against each other. In doing so, the ornateness of each element becomes a jumbled mass. It’s telling that on “Your Spirit Festooned on the Bed Posts/Short Commune, Live Forever” and “17:59,” where the band does back off and allow one instrument to take precedence, that they become both ornate and unique. It is here where both drummer Stefani Zaenker and bassist Francis Beringer put their instruments to shine and show just what unique and harrowing sounds they can pull up from the darkness.
Cacophony certainly isn’t always bad in music, and especially in goth (or goth-influenced bands) where cacophony is often the order of the day. Yet, cacophony is that much more powerful when there is order before it and even chaos itself can have some sort of organization. Caustic Casanova are figuring that out. They’ve got all the pieces they need, they just need to fit them together a little bit tighter.
After establishing themselves as a band that refuses to be pigeonholed, Caustic Casanova’s second full-length, Someday You Will Be Proven Correct, continues to show why their penchant for volume and eccentricity is a winning combination. The record kicks off at breakneck speed; allowing Stefanie Zaenker to add as many rolling drum fills as is humanly possible, while Micheal Wollitz and Francis Beringer play out their 90s geek-punk fantasies -not that there’s anything wrong with being “geeky”. Unlike their underground cohorts, the Washington trio are happy to come off as regular college kids who churn out unclassifiable rock with mechanistic precision. Sometimes that’s enough.
The Ripple Effect
An entirely savory amalgamation of stoner, post-punk, post metal, psychedelia, indie, and even a touch of space rock. In fact, there’s probably more mixed into the stew but my palate is too naive to detect it all. What I can say is that the concoction works and tastes magnificent. With a base stock of classic power-trio rock, the mad chefs of Caustic Casanova went wild in the kitchen mixing their cuisines, alternatingly adding some big chunks of meaty stoner riffs, some delicate flavorings of prog-esque space-rock passages, the occasional fire of punk pepper, and some indie spice, turned the whole thing up as high it would go and let it boil over. And that’s what Someday You Will Be Proven Correct does. Boils over in a mouthwatering burst of wild indie rock flavor. And when you have chefs this talented at their cooking you just know it’s gonna taste great.
3-side LP in a delicious gatefold cover gets the mouth watering. The band call themselves Heavy Rock. I’m not gonna argue. I’m just gonna pony up to the table and enjoy my feast.
Caustic Casanova are tricky business. A quick perusal of their physical product and you might think, like I did, that you’re not going to have time for these noisy scholars and their songs with titles like “Your Spirit Festooned on the Bedposts,” “There is No Need for Grammar on the Moon,” and “A Campfire of Your Own Awe,” and generally you don’t, but sometimes you gotta give some geeks a chance (because, like me, you are one too, deep down). Thankfully, this Washington trio has a set of balls on ‘em and aren’t afraid to heavy up their sweater n’ corduroy nerd rock, and so their sophomore album, Someday You Will Be Proven Correct, while strongly influenced by the hipster alt-rock of the 90s, is much more than college circuit fare. While opener “The Space Needle” might remind you of a more aggressive Sonic Youth, it’s the mid-album combination of “Short Commute, Live Forever” and “Infinite Happiness” that steals the show, a couple of melodic bulldozers in the vein of the Melvins, Torche, and Helms Alee. The album eventually winds down with some uber-indie incandescence (“Bulwark” and “The Unfathomable Heart”) and an experimental distraction (“17:59″), but when it’s all said and done, Caustic Casanova find a way to pack quite a punch into their pretension, ensuring that Someday You Will Be Proven Correct is good enough for girls with bangs and greasy beards like me.
The Soda Shop
As soon as the needle dropped I was spun right into “The Space Needle” is this fast paced punk number featuring a pretty deep amount of drum & bass mixed with some grunge era guitars ala Mudhoney. It rolls right into “Hail Fellow Well Met” which starts off mellow but really picks it up at the end. Reminded me a bit of 80′s British rock. “Penmanship” is next. It’s fast paced and could serve as a somewhat pick me up tune. That is, until it’s speeds up and gets really heavy and somewhat gritty. at the end. This side ends with “Your Spirit Festooned On The Bedposts” which is a short, mellow, and instrumental.
Side B opens with “Short Commute, Live Forever” which begins with a nice little drum beat as the rest of the instruments slowly begin to come in and then boom! It’s all out. This one has some damn good catchy guitar riffs. It runs right into the next track called “Infinite Happiness.” I didn’t even realize that I was into the next song they way they blend together. “There Is No Need For Grammar On The Moon” is next and is a short 49 second instrumental track. “Snake In The Grass” features some heavy and fuzzy guitar. Awesome riffs to go with the catchy tone. When it really picks up it takes on a somewhat punk/post punk-ish personality. “A Campfire Of Your Own Awe” closes out the side with a slow song.
“Bulwark” is a pretty mellow track to begin this side although it does have some faster moments. “17:59″ begins with some pretty trippy guitar picking. It slowly leads into more guitar and then the bass and drums. It’s an all instrumental track as well. It’s big at nearly 7 minutes long total. The final song, “The Unfathomable Heart” reminds me of something that The Cure would have put out in the 90′s. Not being a fan of The Cure I really couldn’t compare but that was the feeling I got from the little experience with The Cure that I do have. It gets a little trippy towards the end during the instrumental part of the song. It’s a cool song to end the album with too.
Side D has no music. Instead there is an etching of what appears to the footprints in sand leading to a campfire under the night sky with the moon complete with clouds.
This album was a blast to play and I played it at full blast, as you should too. You can stream the album in its entirety in the player below and even buy it by clicking on the player. If you want the vinyl copy, which is highly recommended by the way, do so here. CDs are also available if interested.
The Deli Magazine
Album of the Month, April 2012
The Onion AV Club nailed it when they described DC’s indie psyche sludge post-punk trio Caustic Casanova as “uniquely brainy hard rock, heavy yet clever in a Torche meets Dismemberment Plan kind of way.” That sound clearly eminates on their recent release Someday You Will Be Proven Correct (Mad Love Records) with 12 tracks drawing on numerous elements of rock.
If Jackass comes back around with another sequel, then “Hail Fellow Well Met” should be included on the soundtrack as it sounds like the lovechild of CKY and H.I.M. at times, and kinda makes me want to ride a shopping cart through Occupy K St.
“Bulwark”, the stand-out track in my opinion, has a tinge of 90’s alt and a darker undertone compared to the other tracks. Then the breakdowns kick in fuck-yeah style as the lyrics “whether coming or going, I want to be where you are, sleep safe tonight” are crooned and echoed over the piles of scuzz and fuzz.
“17:59”, a superb instrumental, is the pivotal sludge build-up track that when played live will most likely get you visiting the merch table, or walking out of the venue post show with a new local favorite on your mind and a download waiting to happen at home.
Nobody does intellectual hard rock music better right now than this band.
As anyone who spent some time listening to their impressive 2008 debut album ‘Imminent Eminence’ will probably tell you – the advancement of Caustic Casanova in a genre quite often overcrowded and most definitely competitive was clearly guaranteed. It takes something good to make itself big enough to be heard above the noise of every other rabble rousing, strenuous riff making, rock and roll band. Relying on the music you make to lift you above the throng (which is as it should be) and not the ‘in your face’ attention grabbing gimmicks some employ to help push themselves into pole position – is what truly separates the genuine from the fakers. Here then, is ‘genuine‘, and second album ‘Someday You Will Be Proven Correct’ – is what ‘genuine’ does.
The pounding drumbeat that navigates opening track ‘The Space Needle’ so brilliantly is emulated with same proficiency by the scuzz-fuelled guitar that wraps itself around second track ‘Hail Fellow Well Met’. If – as some would have us believe – the first 2 songs of any album need to be strong enough to pull you in for the duration – this might be what they’re talking about. A solidly muscular dual aggression that rattles you for almost 11 minutes in the most cohesively bruising manner is always going to be victorious in any fight to drag you inside. Layer upon layer of intensity – built one upon the other – gives life to a corrupt menacing hybrid of controlled vociferation. The creative dexterity of Caustic Casanova is broad in scope and doesn’t allow itself to go unexplored or restrained in ‘safe’ mode, but instead it roams with the liberation that such confidence and self belief brings as reward. Veering between slow-mo stoner metal anthem ‘Penmanship’, psychotropic rock mash ‘Infinite Happiness‘ and the 10 minute presentation of wondrous versatility that unfurls epic masterpiece ‘The Unfathomable Heart’ will surely serve to teach those who listen how to create something unique from ancient building blocks. This is a cleverness to be celebrated and an inventiveness that shall inspire. If progressive, forward thinking rock music is something you’d like to explore further then this album is currently the best place to go and find it.
DC Rock Live
This local power trio is back from South by Southwest and a surrounding week-long tour which hopefully got them a few new fans hungry for their twisted take on hard rock music. Their half-hour set on the big stage featured heavily from music from their recent album. Their usual psychedelic take on alt-metal went over well with a rather small crowd tonight. Only about 30-35 present, but the crowd was enthusiastic and made its way up front. They are opening for a wild Japanese metal band it struck me that this band would do extremely well over in Japan. Ah, but for the costs and logistical issues that would propose. But Japan’s loss is our gain. For although there are lots of great bands in the DC area, here is one that adds a highly unique flavor to the mix. It is nice to see them at the Black Cat as part of this interesting bill.
taken from a review of the 3/24/12 show by David Hintz at The Black Cat, Washington, DC
Music She Blogged
In my opinion this new album has taken those ‘big shoes’ Chris mentioned needed filling, and filled them so tight that they actually stretched them the fuck out, leaving Washington’s other bands with smaller looking feet than ever before. Although the vocals aren’t my favourite ever, which is probably only because my computer speakers are super shitty so don’t quote me on that, the guitar solos make up for it tenfold, and I find myself getting lost rocking out with my head down and my tits up, enjoying every song on this album and still wanting more after 12 songs.
Space City Rock (Houston, TX)
Closing out Day Nine, there’s Caustic Casanova…a pretty darn cool bluesy, sludgy rock band that merges classic-rock sensibilities with vocals that are occasionally oddly Robert Smith-like (yes, as in The Cure), some limber funk basslines, and stoner-rock’s spaceward-pointing lyrics.
Caught In The Carousel
Building on the promise of their inventive and idiosyncratic debut album, this D.C. outfit return with a sophomore effort that retains all of that invention and brings it to a whole new musical level. Literary, political and tangentially astral, Someday You Will Be Proven Correct is an energetic blast of sci-fi postpunk. “The Space Needle” sounds like The Pixies on the moon, the slow-motion metal of “Penmanship” is expertly executed and “Infinite Happiness” is a feral rave-up. Elsewhere, “Snake In The Grass” is a bass-heavy workout, “Bulwark” is as thoughtful as it is propulsive and the album closing “The Unfathomable Heart” is a nearly ten-minute epic that’s got muscle, heart and deft musical smarts.
—Alex Green (author the 33 1/3 book on The Stone Roses)
KSCR University of Southern California Radio
I’m used to having to preface a lot of bands with the phrase “psych-tinged,” but I am oh-so-happy to report that Caustic Casanova is a full-fledged psychedelic hard rock power trio that would rather spend its time writing bizarre liner notes and astral instrumentals than merely dipping its toes in a subgenre. The album starts off weak, but by the time they’ve festooned your spirit to a bedpost, they’re in the groove, they’ve reached another plane, they took the right drugs—take your pick. Take the Black Lips, mate the vocalist with an angry progeny of Stephen Malkmus, crank it up to 11, and you start to have an idea of where Caustic Casanova likes to go with their sound. “Infinite Happiness” is the best example of why psychedelic hard rock is a great thing. “Bulwark” is a nice slow jam and shows the band at its most Pavement-takes-acid. And you should play aforementioned astral instrumental “There Is No Need For Grammar On The Moon” because it’s fucking called “There Is No Need For Grammar On The Moon.”
The Onion AV Club
And since we’re on the subject of Merry Olde Emo: Once upon a time, seeing the words “produced by J. Robbins” on an album meant there was a pretty good chance it rocked, perhaps in an emotional kind of way. Robbins—himself the leader of post-hardcore legend Jawbox—has since gone on to produce quite a few not-so-great bands, as is every producer’s bill-paying prerogative. Which makes it extra refreshing to hear Caustic Casanova’s Someday You Will Be Proven Correct. The Robbins-produced album is a blistering showcase of the co-ed D.C. outfit’s uniquely brainy hard rock. Heavy yet clever in a Torche-meets-Dismemberment Plan kind of way—yes, it’s that addictively strange—Someday leaves a complex, acidic aftertaste. And it shows that Robbins still knows how to pick ’em.
by Jason Heller in the “Loud” Column for March 7, 2012
DC Rock Live
Lengthy interview with Caustic Casanova here http://dcrocklive.blogspot.com/2012/03/caustic-casanova-interview-february.html
CAUSTIC CASANOVA “SOMEDAY YOU WILL BE PROVEN CORRECT”
(MAD LOVE RECORDS)
RELEASED? Out now.
SOUNDS LIKE? Ted Nugent banging away at Jilted John, or Henry Rollins in a sit com with Emo Philips. So, you’ll know, already, that we have that impossible thing, ‘A heavy rock trio from Washington, DC’ who have intelligence, humour and they’re not afraid to use ’em. So, forget all of that Ted Nugent guff, Caustic Casanova are The Eels gone rawk, they are They Might Be Giants on steroids and they could be important. Why? Well, it’s like this, America is still a big deal, all those nukes and what have you and it’s bad news when the world sees America as the home of the dumb, the racist and corrupt. So it’s good news that Springsteen and Streisand start showing some spine, but it’s better news when even the dumb genre bands can show Americans as smart, lyrically agile, fun bunnies who’d rather take the piss than steal the oil. In short, on paper, Caustic Casanova are a band you’d normally sneer at, heavy rock, unknown, USA, but in the real world they’ can chop n shop the rawk as you like it and tickle your funny bone at the same time.
IS IT ANY GOOD? I think that ‘YES’ is the word we’re looking for here.
We dug the last album we heard from this Washington, D.C.-based trio that was released in 2008 (Imminent Eminence). It’s taken these guys a few years to record the follow up but it was well worth the wait. Someday You Will Be Proven Correct is a smart and creative blast of hard modern rock played with conviction and skill. Caustic Casanova is comprised of Francis Beringer (bass, vocals), Michael Wollitz (guitars, vocals), and Stefanie Zaenker (drums, vocals). But just cuz they’re a mere trio don’t think you’re going to hear a thin wimpy sound. These three musicians pack a powerful punch and their overall intensity is more mindblowing than bands twice their size. But this isn’t just volume for the sake of volume. These songs are smart, intricate, and surprisingly complex…often employing some very unusual instrumentation and peculiar time signatures. After spinning this a few times we can certainly see why it took some time to write and record these compositions…a great deal of thought, time, and skill was obviously poured into these tracks. Killer powerhouse drums…pile-driving bass lines…precise difficult guitar riffs…and vocals that really kick. Who could ask for anything more? Mesmerizing cuts include “The Space Needle,” “Snake In The Grass,” and “The Unfathomable Heart.” Way cool…
written by LMNOP aka dONW7
DC Rock Live
Speaking of seeing bands a lot…, but actually it has been a lot less frequent the last year or so. But I was not going to miss tonight as this local trio are releasing their long awaited album (see my review). They played it in full which is a perfectly good idea as it flows so very well and showcases all their amazing styles bundled together. Old psyche, new psyche, alt metal, classic rock, dreamy prog… all with interesting slightly off kilter vocal work and slashing dynamic shifts of power and volume. The set went almost an hour and unfortunately it was getting late, so some of the crowd had filtered out. But hopefully they bought a record before they went home, as this music is strong and sounds fresh after multiple listens (at least the 5 listens I have done so far in less than a week). They are headed to Mecca (Austin) and will pick up some tour dates around that, so hopefully lots of intelligent heavy music fans will discover this band that is still a little bit too under the radar around here.
taken from a review of the 2/17/12 show by David Hintz at The Velvet Lounge, Washington, DC
DC Rock Live
Long one of my favorite local power trios, it is nice to see them realease this album. The live set has always impressed me with the eclectic manner they mix hard rock, psychedelic rock, alt-metal and quirky songwriting into an original and at times unpredictable set. They recorded this record with J. Robbins at the Board, which usually leads to good results. The results are not only good, but even better than I expected. The sound is strong with great clarity for all instruments. The guitar work is varied with plenty of psychedelic swirl mixed into thick power chords and mobil fingerwork. The bass playing is solid and even heads into John Entwistle territory at times as it thickly carries melodic lines. The drums are strong and hold it all together as you would expect. The vocal work is intense with a twisted sense of humor. At times, they channel one of my favorite hard rock art bands, MX-80 Sound. But there is an accessible quality at work as well that I also have seen in the Entrance Band, another fine modern psychedelic band. This is a highly successful effort that I have already played several times. The album flows well and there is not a bad note in the bunch.
Songs to try out:
Short Commute, Live Forever – This commute has a lot of ess curves, but it is a fun ride.
A Campfire of Your Own Awe – Quiet Sebadoh like head trip breaks up the heavy sounds.
17:59/The Unfathomable Heart – Around eight minutes of psychedelic jams lead into a an even longer song that floats over the landscape before settling into grounded fields of noise.
Review By David Hintz at http://dcrocklive.blogspot.com/2012/02/record-reviews-february-2012.html
WCUR The Curve 91.7 West Chester, PA
The trio, Caustic Casanova, will definitely shake your speakers up with their hard rock tenor. Operating out of Washington D.C. they have a nice use of female vocals to soften some of the songs, while others are strictly instrumental, organized jam sessions. With wonderful bass, guitar, and drum solos this band makes one truly appreciate each instrument on its own. When they all come together a quirky, powerful, funky, memorable sound is born.
Review of Someday You Will Be Proven Correct by Mallory Spencer at http://www.wcur.org/2012/caustic-casanova/
DC Rock Live
I haven’t seen one of my favorite local trios in a while, so I was looking forward to this show. They immediately connected with their original brand of off-metal, slight psyche, quirky and powerful rock music. If you have not heard them, the vocals are a bit Richard Hell/Rich Stim(MX-80 Sound) in nature atop powerful drums, inventive bass lines and strong rock guitar. There are quirky angular moves in their songs that set them apart from the sludgy pack and always make them a treat to listen to. They covered the intro to Black Sabbath’s “Lord of this World” but segued it into one of their songs. They finished with nice Husker Du choice, “Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill”, which medleyed into something else as well. So there is plenty of playfulness here along with a great variety of heavy music and good original songs. The band was sharp and this may have been their finest show I have seen. Their energy level was about as high as I’ve seen. By all means, check this band out next time if you have not sampled them. You will likely see me there.
taken from a review of the 8/23/11 show at The Velvet Lounge, Washington, DC by David Hintz
DC Rock Live
It’s been many months since I have seen one of my favorite local trios. They have been busy recording and are starting to play out again. The key to their success is the diversity in their sound. Just when you pigeonhole them in a genre like psyche, indie rock, metal or whatever, they twist their sound around in another direction. They may be a bit too slippery for some listeners, but it keeps me coming back for more. I have found that by the third time I see a band, I run out of things to say unless they have some interesting new material and sounds. These guys generally succeed at this and did so tonight as well. They sounded strong, controlled feedback well and came up with a modern take on an American post-hardcore reminding me a bit of Happy World or the Undead (Bobby Steele). Well, if that is too confusing, note that they did well covering a Death from Above 1979 song. Good half-hour set to get this show rolling.
taken from a review of the 3/10/11 show at DC9, Washington, DC by David Hintz
Caught in the Carousel
Namechecking James Joyce, Stonewall Jackson and Facebook, Caustic Casanova’s Imminent Eminence takes a long, mistrustful look at the modern world and its inhabitants, resulting in singer Michael Wollitz declaring, “I hate everyone I want to like.” An innovative trio from Washington D.C., Caustic Casanova’s debut is rife with youthful frustration about everything from technology to artificial relationships to Florida’s zoning ordinances. As varied as their subject matter, their aural attack is just as varied: for starters, there’s the jazzy hard rock of “I Hate Everyone I Want To Like”; the crunchy pop of “Titian Titillation” and the ethereal acoustica of “Mythical July.” An accomplished trio—drummer Stefanie Zaenker is just marvelous and bassist Francis Beringer is refreshingly innovative—Caustic Casanova play a winning and almost conversational brand of indie prog rock. Take for example, “The Town Crier” which finds Wollitz railing against superficiality of friends: “But in reality, you could outline in bullet point form the extent of my interest in these matters with the blunt tip of a permanent marker on the rim of a shot glass.” Elsewhere, the straight up funk of “Five Flag Forest” brings to mind Suck On This-era Primus; “Regolithic Rachel” has a dreamy start that morphs into a metal jam and “The Soft Machinery Of Success” is a hard-edged bluesy number that urges: “…let’s swim in blood and money together,” as if to suggest you can’t sell out without getting your hands a bit dirty. A splendid debut.
DC Rock Live
The power trio is back after a longish hiatus. They are working on a new album and brought along some new songs to go with a few of the good ones I recall from past shows. The first Hawkwind/Amon Duul II psyche jam makes way for a post 2nd album Wire kind of song with maybe a touch of Pavement? They soldiered on nicely and [got] a thicker sound as the night went on and rocked the house pretty effectively. I liked a new song they played which sounded like Swell Maps succeeding in trying to sound like the Damned. Still one of my favorites and hopefully they will be one of yours some day soon.
taken from a review of the 9/10/10 show at The Rock n Roll Hotel, Washington, DC by David Hintz
DC Rock Live
This show is the last DC show for a while as the band will be doing some recording into the summer which should prove interesting. And it was a solid send off. The early part of the set had a twisted art damaged punk sound which really worked well with the guitar and bass battling atop the solid drumming. The set finished with two great long psyche jams that were songs and not just mindless jamming. Their theme was New Mexico tonight (St. Louis previously) and they are at a far more rapid pace to go through the country than Sufjan Stevens ever will. An excellent DC band that hopefully will be delivering some of their fine songs on a CD for each and every one of you.
taken from a review of the 4/11/10 show at The Velvet Lounge, Washington, DC by David Hintz
DC Rock Live
The second time for me, seeing this local three-piece. They were chatting with me before-hand and said they had 50 songs in their itinerary and also try to do different covers regularly. I think that is really helpful, as when I see local bands too many times in a row, I feel like I am reviewing the same show. Not here. The general sound for this band is still hard psychedelic rock. They space out quite nicely or garage it up when they feel like it. Just call it rock, as it does. They medlied a couple covers, and the second one I spotted as Nirvana’s “Floyd the Barber”. They remind me of one of my favorites, Motorpsycho, in that it is hard to pin them down, which is a good thing when it is done well. They are not quite Motorpsycho yet, but they will do nicely as we are not in Norway. Hopefully, more people will discover this band, show by show. On an unimportant note, the guitarist really looks like Glenn Cornick.
taken from a review of the 2/26/10 show at Asylum, Washington, DC by David Hintz
DC Rock Live
This DC band has some records out and t-shirts, so they have been around a bit. They began with a slow building psyche-fest that ended loud and faster in a Kohoutek manner. Ergo, the Velvet Lounge is the perfect venue for this sound. They varied things a bit between psyche and hard rock with arty vocal moves reminding me a bit of MX-80 Sound (yes, I’ve used this reference at least three times previously, but it explains things nicely even if they are obscure). The bass sound fuzzed out a bit too loudly at times, but it settled. His playing was quite good [and the bass] acted like an extra guitar at times. They also reminded me a bit of a really nice band I’ve seen many times, Entrance Band. Good show all the way around tonight.
taken from a review of the 1/13/10 show at The Velvet Lounge, Washington, DC by David Hintz
Imminent Eminence…is a pretty cool little item. Actually, I’m not sure “little” is the word as this thing times in at very close to the max playing time for the 80-minute recordable medium. Oft-times, such album-lengths make me nervous, sometimes they make me weary and too often they bore me to tears. Still, CAUSTIC CASANOVA (from the nation’s capital) have a lot to say and they say it really well. A trio (Francis Beringer – bass / vox, Michael Wolitz – guitar / vox, Stefaine Zaenker – drums), they bring in a slew of influences ranging from the distorted noise-rawk of Sonic Youth to the pop-grunge of Queens Of The Stone Age to the occasional leaden Sabbathy rhythm to vocals that run the gamut from parts country to Brit-pop to even stage-struttin’-Plant-isms. They succeed because they end up bringing ALL that stuff in and, somehow, still not sounding directly like any of them. Listen to a cut like “Anhedonia” or, say, “The Town Crier.” Can you say they sound like anything you’ve really heard before? Another thing CC does that I like is that, while some of their stuff appears to slide by without hooks, a 2nd listen will let that elusive memorable series of notes take hold in your brain. CAUSTIC CASANOVA are a band that stand out to me because I can honestly say I’ve never heard anything quite like them before. Come to think of it, that’s some pretty decent praise and I urge you to give this bunch a real shot. This album may be a lot to take in at once…I’m still getting new stuff out of it each time through. In the long run, I think you’ll be glad you dropped ‘em a line.
A Very Short 72 Minutes
“Imminent Eminence” starts off with what sounds like a long-lost title theme to some kind of Morricone-scored cowboy movie and this is just the first example of the ridiculously varied mixture of sounds that this band displays in an equally ridiculous album length of nearly seventy-five minutes! However, even if you’re not a patient person the album seems to go by quickly, while at the same time managing to sound like at least three of your favorite bands.
A large chunk this album is very shoegazey – but I don’t mean that in a bad way. There’s an equal mix of speedy TELEVISION-like songs, too. Overall, these guys (and girl) have created a very satisfying album that for the most part manages to avoid overindulgence, a common and fatal flaw that plagues far too many bands to mention. Rating 4/5
Caustic Casanova’s explosive album “Imminent Eminence” really leaves a well deserved impression upon the listener. They will gladly provide you with a catchy riff, but don’t get too comfortable because this band is going to send your ears on a far more interesting journey. Members include Michael Wollitz on guitar and vocals, Francis Beringer on bass and vocals, and Stefanie Zaenker on the drums. Each member is clearly individually talented, and together they create a genuine sound that perfectly mixes the alternative, rock and roll, and experimental genres. The first track off of the album, “Are We Doing This?”, immediately catches the listener’s attention with a soft, electric guitar riff. High pitched vocal harmonies follow; a definite ear-opener. The second track, “I Hate Everyone I Want to Like”, is exciting, upbeat, and begins to roadmap the general sound of the band. The song never looses its appeal as it twists and turns through a variety of different tunes. Track three, “Little White Lie” demonstrates the darker influence of metal, but the chorus jumps into a deliciously punk sound. The acoustic song “Mythical July” is a beautiful intermission from the perfect distortion of the rest of the album. The following song “This Milieu of Effete Weaponry” starts out with a completely funky bass riff, leaving the listener a little bit surprised and incredibly impressed. While they have been compared to Nirvana and bands of the like, Caustic Casanova shell out far more variety and kick ass riffs.
Intelligent lyrics and a diverse musical style make Caustic Casanova’s Imminent Eminence incomparable. The album begins with a noisy, eccentric instrumental entitled “Are We Doing This?” The alt-rock song, “I Hate Everyone I Want to Like,” is a scathing commentary on the shallowness of 21st century existence. “Little White Lie” is loud, heavy, and fast, and “Titian Titillation” is a likeable pop-punk tune about a rocky relationship. Caustic Casanova ventures into acoustic folk rock territory with “Mythical July” and does a decent job of it. On the high energy and slightly funky, “This Milieu of Effete Weaponry” and some of the other tracks, the lead vocalist sounds exactly like Frank Black. The heavy rockin’ “The Town Crier” is a song about gossip and features attention-grabbing, contrasting rhythmic changes. “Five Flag Forest” has a Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe to it, and “Regolithic Rachel” is a semi-mellow rock tune about growing apart from someone. The lyrics are particularly effective at getthing their point across. “It’s the people who love us the most that we never seem to notice. And so to characterize my love, I’d have to say it’s hopeless.” Other heavy hitters include “Glossolalia,” “Anhedonia,” “The Soft Machinery of Success,” “The March to the Sky (Softshell),” and the most radio-friendly song on the album (if there is one), “Baby Fat.” If you like heavy rock, art rock, and noise bands, you will love Caustic Casanova.
WLUR FM Washington and Lee University Radio
Blazing through 14 tracks, DC’s Caustic Casanova cover styles ranging from Pixies punk to Sabbath riffage. Imminent Eminence brims with fizzy and ragged drums and stirring guitars as featured on the ode to love gone awry ‘Titian Titillation.’ The heavier elements of Imminent Eminence come through on ‘Anhedonia,’ with fuzzed-out bass and feedback-laden guitars.
[Imminent Eminence] is somewhat of an enigma, in that it defies easy categorization. It has moments of heaviness, moments of hippiness, and moments of greatness. There’s occasional Dandy Warhols, Sabbath and Queens Of The Stone Age coming through in Caustic Casanova’s repertoire of songs, to be sure. In the long run, Imminent Eminence is an album rife with riffs. Just give the platter a chance to work it’s mojo and win you over.
Music She Blogged
Hailing from Washington DC, one of the latest three piece post rock experimental bands, Caustic Casanova has some big shoes to fill. Up against other hometown heroes like Minor Threat, Bad Brains and Fugazi, CC come out strong with their first full length studio album Imminent Eminence.
Although this is an ambitious album, with incorporation of experimental rock, bossanova beats and a dash of classical finger picked guitar, Caustic Casanova put forth a valiant effort. Taking cues from bands like Queens of the Stone Age, CC uses the back and forth play of ominous ambient sounds and crunchy driving bass lines which kept me interested throughout.
It also contains some tracks that take me back to the days of minimalist moody rock (tracks 2, 6..etc), and I can’t help but think that these guys had The Cramps on repeat in the studio while recording the vocals. After having a full listen to the album, I can’t help but feel a little emotionally unstable. Imminent Eminence was a big album with lots of sound.
All in all Caustic Casanova’s Imminent Eminence was an emotionally charged 72 minutes of experimental rock, the likes of which I have never experienced. Those of you that like Queens Of the Stone Age, The Cure, Pixies.. etc should definitely take a listen, it will be worth your time!
Washington D.C rock trio Caustic Casanova have created a rather good record here. Imminent Eminence clocks in at around 70 minutes, a rare thing these days. Within it can be found some great examples of rock music. It bounds from laid back moments of minimalism to very obvious, but very good, crunching, garage rock defiance. Their versatility is conspicuous by its presence on songs like ‘Town Crier’ with its strong poppy type vibe, to ‘Glossolalia’ with that aforementioned stripped back rock and roll vibe. Not only does their music straddle various barriers their song-titles seem determined to stand out from the crowd too, especially the obscurely named ‘This Milieu Of Effete Weaponry’ being the perfect example of such esotericism. But obscure titles would be nothing but pretentious rhetoric had they not the meat of good music to support the ambiguity. Caustic Casanova have ensured the ‘clothes make the man’ with incredible panache and it’s a really good album to boot.
This is the fourth record by Caustic Casanova, they have released an EP and two other CDs. This is what they consider to be their first proper album and they have been in existence since 2005. Their LP offers a scattering of tracks that differ in style; their strengths as a band are really good musically. Stefanie Zaenker, Francis Beringer and Michael Wollitz work very well in a rhythmic, heavy way. Working as a three piece is a strong formula in rock, key examples being the Minutemen, Husker Du, and the Jam. Caustic Casanova provides strong, musically unfussy arrangements just like these bands. They truly have a bonded rhythm section overlaid with a good guitarist. Although Caustic Casanova carry the rock tradition of being a strong 3 piece, they are sonically from the same school as underground indie legends Poster Children.
Caustic Casanova seem to go into fifth gear on track 5, Glossolalia, and then they sound like a really good indie rock band. The vocal performances and all of Caustic Casanova’s elements gel really well. It almost seems they are good riff masters holding themselves back, but from Glossolalia – Anhedonia, they really let loose in all sections and bounce off each other like crazy. Mythical July takes it down to singer and acoustic guitar but then it heavies up to full effect after this, with This Milieu of Effete Weaponry providing rhythmic bounce, solid rifferamma and excellent jamming. Two vocalists together here seem to work well, more of that please. The Soft Machinery of Success offers several passages of different styles melded well into one track.
Overall Imminent Eminence turns into a strong Indie Rock album as it peaks more and more with each track. There are strong tracks and a lot of potential should Caustic Casanova further build on their existing strengths. They openly list their influences and wear them on their sleeves, I mentioned Poster Children as an example I would also urge them to repeatedly listen to Bitch Magnet’s albums; Ben Hur, Umber and Starbooty. Bitch Magnet is an example of a band that utilised similar strengths to those of Caustic Casanova. As an album I did not warm to at first, gradually I was won over to being impressed. Here’s to eventually finding the answers in all the right places.
So many twenty-first century artists bury their songs underneath multiple layers of technological sound. Nowadays when you hear a real artist playing music without all the excessive gloss it tends to sound rather…strange. Caustic Casanova is the Washington, D.C.-based trio consisting of Francis Beringer, Michael Wollitz, and Stefanie Zaenker. On the humorously-titled Imminent Eminence these folks present fourteen rock songs in which lyrics are an integral part of the equation. The band has a real and obvious sense of humor…and their words are strikingly poignant. Musically, the tracks on this album remind us of many of the underground guitar bands from the 1990s who were playing for a very esoteric audience. In some ways, this band’s overall sound and ideology reminds us of Redd Kross…but only slightly. Intriguing tracks include “Are We Doing This?”, “I Hate Everyone I Want To Like,” “Glossolalia,” and “Mythical July.” These folks display great potential. Their energy is real and undiluted. (Rating: 4++++)
The Chickenfish Speaks
At times Caustic Casanova has a very raw early punk sound. There are other instances where their music is more refined with an early ‘90s underground feel to it. I really enjoyed the guitar work on “This Milieu of Effete Weaponry” which clocks in at an epic 10:35, but manages to stay fresh throughout. While their groove has various layers, the underlying punk feel with heavy guitar and untrained vocals remain throughout the album. This is one I dig right now, but feel I will like it even more with each listen.
— Mite Mutant (2009)
WRUV 90.1 FM Burlington, VT
Caustic Casanova’s latest, Imminent Eminence, pulls their sound from many different bands from the late 80’s and early 90’s. The influences range from The Cure and Bauhaus to King Missile and even a little Dead Milkmen. The track Titian Titillation even has hint of a metal power ballad. There’s also a heavy bass sound, again reminiscent of the late 80’s Goth scene. There’s a lot going on but they are able to keep it all together without sounding too disjointed. They do a good job of recreating that late 80’s early 90’s Goth/ Alternative sound. I’m sure these guys watched 120 Minutes with Dave Kendall back in the day.
We really enjoyed [Imminent Eminence], this band has mucho talent. You can really hear the Primus influences. Check them out!
There was a period in the late 80’s / early 90’s that would have suited Caustic Casanova perfectly. Back when the Pixies didn’t hate each other (as much), REM were less suicidal, Bob Mould was mellowing out and people still bought B52’s records. Because that pretty much sums up the sound and feeling of this Caustic Casanova album.
Clever, quirky, laid back and catchy (if not a little too student-ie), Caustic Casanova have an air of optimism and freshness about them that’s been lacking from the music scene for well over a decade now.
The tracks are very stripped down, with some nice pacing throughout, amply provided by the rhythm section – and with the odd novelty bit thrown into the songs for variation as well.
Overall? Good, summery, poppy tunes that its hard not to tap your foot to!
The Dreaded Press
An intriguing listen…Majestically morose proto-grunge…tunneling through the turgid corpse of rock and punk in a similar direction [as] Pixies and Sonic Youth.
Caustic Casanova is a power trio based in Washingto, DC – Michael Wollitz: guitar, keyboard, and vocals; Francis Beringer: bass, harmonica, and vocals; Stefanie Zaenker: drums and vocals.
Their debut album was Old Habits Die Hard met with public and critical acclaim. They have become somewhat famous, not only in the home area but in some other parts of this world. I really don’t know what to make of this “study/history” by a Cambridge professor that has been part of band marketing for some time. But I find “The Town Crier” an interesting piece from Imminent Eminence (January 2008). Ditto for “The March to the Sky.” It might be a bit much to call them giants and say that their thoughts are our thoughts. But it’s a good band, after all.
It’s understandable to want to claim, “I was there at the beginning.” It’s another thing to actually do it. Should these folks continue to work as a band, they might last long enough to be the beginning. Are they The Pixies or The B52s? Remains to be seen.
Caustic Casanova are a welcoming band. They bring new enthusiasm to music at the College, a group more concerned with playing music the way they feel it should be rather than meeting the requests of trends and movements out and away from Williamsburg. The trio of Stefanie Zaenker, Michael Wollitz and Francis Beringer have been together but eight months , and have already recorded two full length albums, have begun working on a third, and continue to perform with staggering frequency. The band is indeed a force that, in a live setting, laces its components into an often blistering fuzz of gloried hard rock.
Despite claims that Caustic Casanova are the campus’s heaviest group, accusations of riff abuse are lost on the band. Beringer finds the campus perception of the band to be, “Hilarious. Our sound is pretty varied but we are generally playing “alternative” or blues based rock n roll. Despite this people see us as this unbelievably heavy group. Compared to the rest of the campus music scene, which is either pop rock or acoustic, we are the heaviest band, but in the grand scheme of things we’re just hard rock.” I myself am very guilty of this association, but it was admittedly my first whiskey-soaked exposure to the band that placed lightning bolts in my brain that had me screaming “Riff Royalty!” Not that this was a base interpretation. It was the idea that no local band had played a song for more the 5 minutes, had succeeded in improvisation and experimentation, and that the group was concerned with themselves and the music more than with anyone’s interpretation that had me so alarmed and enthused. For here were Caustic Casanova saving us from the banality of historically derivative William and Mary bands.
The band discussed the quality of music at W&M, citing a lack of interest in new bands and student pretense. Beringer offered a list of problems with music at the College: “First, people don’t come out to shows unless they know the band. Second, variety is almost nonexistent. Third, many of the ‘music’ people on campus don’t really seem to care abou cultivating any interest in campus bands, which is a shame.” Wollitz expressed similar sentiment, finding problems with “the narrowness of perspective and the lack of emphasis on originality,” at the College. Caustic Casanova are doing all they can to change the stagnation. They have just completed their second LP, Official Moustache of Portuguese Cricket, recorded in downtown Ludwell Apartments Studios in sunny Williamsburg. The album, in contrast with their previous Old Habits Die Hard, was recorded in a more open-ended fashion than the last. “This time around instead of choosing a specific week to record all of our songs, we took a more relaxed approach, recording the songs at our leisure as they became perfected,” Zaenker said. Wollitz added, “Case in point, ‘Con Mi Novio’ was, when I brought it to the band, a short punchy tune. But we started playing with the arrangement, including jamming it out some. One day we decided to turn on the tapes and just let the vibe roll and see what would happen, and boom! next thing we know it is a sixteen minute epic.” The album offers a new diversity for the band. In addition to improvisation, Beringer said, “The new record has two acoustic songs and an instrumental, so it’s got a totally different sound in that respect.” He added that the record is strong, emphasizing confidence in the quality of the band’s writing – true growth for the group. “We truly love playing together, and it feels like the three of us have been together for even longer than we have been,” Wollitz said.
Keeping busy seems to be the key to progress for the band, as they are planning to record their third LP in Virginia Beach later this spring. For all their confidence and commitment, the bands seems afraid of only one thing, stopping. Never stop.
taken from “Williamsburg’s Finest Band” by Eric Marth