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

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


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.

—Alex Green