I think I first saw Caustic Casanova open for Kylesa, which makes a lot of sense. Both bands have a remarkable practice of male and female vocalists (in this case, the bassist and drummer, respectively) in tandem over aggressive metal riffs and punchy drums. Much like Kylesa, their unison calls ring like proverbs, like prophecy, like the chorus in a Classical Greek drama—omniscient, matter-of-fact, and uncomfortably truthful.
Since then, I make a point of seeing them each time they pass through town. In part, it’s because they are a joy to watch. This is a band that appears to love every minute of what they are doing. They came through St. Louis as a three-piece, with the reedy Jake Kimberley swaying on guitar across from Francis Beringer, who hopped nimbly from one foot to the other, as if tamping his basslines into the ground. Completing the back corner of the triangle was Stefanie Zaenker on drums, who alternated between singing into the mic off her left side and raising her right drumstick in the air before a mighty crash, like a cartoon pitcher winding up on the mound.
More than that, they put this joy to task, functioning as a tight-knit unit, glancing over guitar necks and cymbals to precisely coordinate their carefully orchestrated frenzy. Once upon a time, I had the good fortune to see Mike Patton’s spectacular project Fantômas perform live, and what stuck with me was the precision of communication necessary to pull off such intricate and fast-moving compositions. You can see and hear that type of coordination here. As a listener, it’s thrilling. You’re never quite sure where the sound is going next, but you have complete confidence that they do. Caustic Casanova weaves together churning strings and frenetic tap-dancing drums, reminding of me of the good old days of early Mastodon, plunging forward with a sense of inertia that entrances. I love a band that keeps me on my toes.
Otherwise, it’s hard to put this band into a single box. Their sound cherry picks some choice examples of prog, psych, and metal and pulls one trick out of their pocket after another. After a previous show, I lurked around the merch table to gush about the guitar accents reminding me of Adrian Belew in King Crimson. Sometimes, they lay down the deepest thrumming bass below the screamiest guitar. Other times, it’s a melodic bass groove and spacey guitar, similar to Les Claypool and his collaborators. The evening’s closer, “No Sky July,” nods to “Southbound Pachyderm,” a favorite of Claypool’s recent partner, Sean Lennon. And like any doom metal worth their salt, there’s a healthy dose of Sabbath stoner rock strewn throughout.
I’ve seen them twice now at our gem of a dive bar, The Sinkhole. It sets the perfect scene for the band. The mural backdrop almost matches the vibrant color and style of the amazing artwork accompanying their latest album, God How I Envy the Deaf. And the immense volume bouncing off the walls wraps around you like a sonic blanket (if you forget your earplugs, you should buy some at the bar), perfect for the wending reverb of epic and largely instrumental new songs Caustic Casanova brought on this tour.
A sparse but dedicated (and mostly masked) crowd included some faces I remember from the last show as well as some of the band’s hometown support who traveled for this tour stop. Sandwiching Caustic Casanova were local acts Enemy of Magic (bringing some old school Clutch and hardcore Nails vibes) and the forebodingly sludgy Van Buren, both worth following in their own right.
As much as I would love to see Caustic Casanova garner the larger following they deserve, I won’t be sad to see them again in their native environment: standing on the floor, a too-cheery-colored pit of thorns behind them, familiar faces before them, and all of us screaming along with the final refrain to “Show Some Shame,” which I’ve channeled too many times to be healthy—”Doomed / We are doomed”—all with smiling eyes above our masks. Feels good to have you back, folks. Please come again soon.
Taken from a review of the Nov. 16, 2021 St. show at The Sinkhole, St. Louis, Missouri, by Courtney Dowdall.
Starting to feel like I’ve been writing about Caustic Casanova a lot lately. The D.C./Maryland four-piece have put out two live albums this year — so far; you never know when another might show up — they had another video for “Memory King” from 2019’s God How I Envy the Deaf (review here), earlier this week they announced a string of we’re-back-out-on-the-road-in-the-plague-era tour dates that you can see below, and now they’ve got this Hourglass Session clip for “Filth Castle/Poor Wigs” that worked out to be kind of too cool not to post.
So hey, here’s some more about Caustic Casanova. They’re still righteous. They’ve apparently grown out their hair since the last time they took a promo picture. This video shows them at the Sky Stage in Frederick, Maryland, which seems to have gotten hold of your old high school bleachers and put them to frickin’ awesome use. “Filth Castle” has featured on both the aforementioned live outings the band issued in 2021, which can be streamed near the bottom of this post, and came from the 2019 album. Here, as on the new EPPPCOT (Experimental Protoprog Psych Punk Concert on Tour), “Filth Castle” is paired with the slower ending “Poor Wigs” and it works to an effect I can only call delightful. You’ll also find the band surrounded by colorful, animated birds, because we live in an age of wonders after all and sometimes things in the universe are okay and it doesn’t always have to hurt all the time so there.
That’s t it. They have a bit about this version of the song that came through in a Bandcamp update email, and again, their tour dates are down below for those feeling adventurous. Anytime you guys want to stop through Tabor Firehouse in scenic Morris Plains, NJ, let me know and I’ll book out the room. Cheers.
Taken from an article about the “Filth Castle / Poor Wigs” Hourglass Sessions Live Music Video by JJ Koczan.
Whenever the last Bandcamp Friday was, I placed an order for the new Caustic Casanova tape. It’s a live release called EPPPCOT that they did a limited run for and it came with handmade art, a nice handwritten note — yeah, I appreciate and absolutely keep that kind of thing, always — and a coozie and stickers and whatnot. It also came with a SECRET THING that I can’t talk about but if you get the tape you’ll find out about it too and then we can talk about it together and pretend we’re the cool kids in the SECRET THING Club and I think if humanity is honest with itself that’s all people have ever aspired to be. The post-industrial capitalist ideal, somehow given charm because, well, it’s Caustic Casanova. Needless to say, there is no level on which I regret the purchase.
EPPPCOT is the second live release Caustic Casanova have put out this year, and if that makes you think to yourself, golly, this band must really miss touring, I think that yes that is precisely the case. Fortunately they’ve got a round of shows getting back into the swing of things show-wise slated to begin next month, heading off into the wild whatever-color yonder with their underrated selves. And a new album in Summer 2022? Please and thank you. Glad they’ll still be working with Magnetic Eye, too.
Taken from an article about tour dates by JJ Koczan
Wasn’t I just posting about Caustic Casanova like two days ago? In fact, I was, but that was my own fault for being late on the arrival of their “Memory King” video. This news? Current! How about that?
EPPPCOT reportedly stands for Experimental Protoprog Psych Punk Concert on Tour, which is enough to make one thankful for the acronym. All the more appropriate that the second Caustic Casanova self-released live album of 2021 was tracked in Orlando, Florida, since, you know, Disney and all that. If you, like me, have been known to enjoy a soundboard bootleg from time to time, dive into “Boxed and Crated/Show Some Shame” knowing that’s what you’re getting in mixed and mastered form. They were playing as a trio at the time. They’re a four-piece now. As they tell it they’d had a hard few days, but the songs (united as one track here) still sound right on. Maybe the rest of the thing is a mess. I haven’t heard it, but I’m thinking I might preorder a tape.
Taken from a preview of EPPPCOT by JJ Koczan.
Capitol [sic] City heavy rockers Caustic Casanova released God How I Envy the Deaf (review here) the better part of two years ago. If you were wondering — or, I guess, if you weren’t — it’s still awesome. The underrated D.C. outfit would have probably informed you of that in-person while playing on any number of tours throughout the last year and a half supporting the LP, but, well, you know. I’m pretty sure you were aware of what was happening during that time, what continues to be happening, and what will apparently be happening for the foreseeable future. To be honest, I’d like to take the rest of this post off from thinking or writing about it.
Perhaps in that regard, Caustic Casanova‘s new clip for “Memory King” can serve as a somewhat ironic accompaniment to a few minutes of willful forgetting. I’ve been trying to write about it for the last few days and have been caught up in other whatnot that doesn’t need detailing here, so the initial drifting guitar line, underlying rhythmic solidity and the overarching groove that emerges therefrom are only welcome presences in my brain, escapism or not. And if you’re feeling bad from taking a couple minutes off from fretting unproductively about the state of the world, don’t. The clip has a relevant censorship message, if transposed onto pigeons. And fair enough.
You ever see Caustic Casanova? It’s kind of hard to convey how much their material manages to be theirs while ultimately staying in familiar terrain. As a group, they have a presence that’s not quite like anybody else making heavy rock, and they’ve done it well enough and long enough at this point that they just get on stage, deliver, and are done. In a way, it’s no-frills, almost punk rock, and then they might sludge out and embarrass any number of surrounding acts stacking speaker cabinets for a showcase of tone-worship. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch them a couple times now. All they do is impress. They put out a live EP this year. It’s not quite the same, of course, but it ain’t nothing. And they made fridge magnets, which is aces in my book.
Taken from “Caustic Casanova Post “Memory King” Video” by JJ Koczan.
Trying to pigeonhole CAUSTIC CASANOVA musically is bound to fail, but one certainty is that the American stoner/punk/sludge/noise/riff-rockers (take your pick) are heavily invested into the avian super-flyers that graced the artwork of their last album; not to mention being keen on sharp societal commentary.
All of this is evident in the band’s new animated video, stunningly created by Jase Harper, which also features a giant space squid and a banana cow. Best not to spoil too much and just let you see for yourself.
‘Memory King’ is taken from CAUSTIC CASANOVA‘s latest album “God How I Envy the Deaf”.
Taken from “CAUSTIC CASANOVA Release Space-Tripping Animated Video for ‘Memory King’” by Nicolae Baldovin.
Prog-punk psych with a touch-o’-sludger’s Caustic Casanova have released 6 full-length albums and four EP’s since their debut in 2005 and have been involved with the likes of Retro Futurist and Magnetic Eye Records. The three-piece from the DC area waste no time and have kept a steady, determined metronome going forward and projecting their rock to the people. They are currently looking to release their latest album with Magnetic Records and are introducing a fourth member, guitarist Jake Kimberley. “It features some new instrumentation and a 22-minute song. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it!” exclaims drummer/sometimes vocalist Stefanie Zaenker.
Prolific as usual, Caustic Casanova are not wasting any time with what they have left of 2021. They have wrapped up their recording, they have music videos, new merch, and some fall touring scheduled. You can catch them this weekend at The Deviant Collective, Day Two in Baltimore!
Taken from a preview of the Deviant Collective Festival on August 14, 2021 by Shy Kennedy.
Portuguese language interview with Stefanie.
Interview by Ingrid Natalie HERE.
Interview with Stefanie and Francis about their pets and their music.
Es ist ihre ganz eigene Mischung die in den Bann zieht. Krachende Gitarrenwände überragen den Hörer. Die treibende Rhythmusgruppe kickt das musikalische Schwergewicht nach vorne. CAUSTIC CASANOVAs Sound ist dreckig, ungeschliffen und doch mächtig. Der rauhe Sound verkommt hier nicht zum Selbstzweck, sondern ist eine Charakteristik der Musik, welche die Intensivität der Songs ausmacht. Ganz besonders deutlich macht dies diese Live EP aus, die in der Livewire Lounge, Chicago aufgenommen wurde. Das zunächst uneingängige Material offenbart nach mehreren Durchläufen immer wieder geniale Melodien. Hier sind einfach Musiker am Werk, die ihrer Vision folgen und sich auf musikalischem Höchstniveau bewegen, zumindest bezüglich des Metal Genre. CAUSTIC CASANOVA haben hier ein hervorragendes Stück Musik kreiert, dass hart, melodiös, brachial, komplex und anspruchsvoll zugleich ist und welches ich jedem “über-den-Tellerrand”-Hörer wärmstens empfehlen kann.
Taken from a review of Lïve Läugh Löve Malört by Thomas Müller.
Caustic Casanova – God How I Envy The Deaf
I discovered Caustic Casanova, a promising band from Washington, D.C. and their album God How I Envy The Deaf in a Bandcamp music sharing themed Facebook group. It was a love-at-first-”sight” experience, the first song “Fancy English” made me stay for more.
What I like in this band the most is that they operate with both male and female vocals which sound great together. The 2019 album is the peak of their songwriting so far, with intriguing riffs and song structures, tempo and rhythmic switches (sometimes sludgy, sometimes punk-rock-esque), and tasteful vocal melodies. This is an album full of great ideas and wonderful moments. While you’re listening to it, your neurons are constantly stimulated.
My personal favorite is “Filth Castle” (besides “Fancy English”), where the points regarding the band’s composition skills are clearly observable. The live version of the song is available on the EP Lïve Läugh Löve Malört (released in December 2020), and it’s as tight as the one on the album.
Taken from a review of God How I Envy The Deaf by Balázs ‘Söpi’ Söptei.
Someday, maybe, you and me and everyone else will get to see Caustic Casanova again, and as far as I’m concerned, that would be just splendid. As it stands, a quizzically titled, bootleg-style live EP, Lïve Läugh Löve Malört, will have to hold the line. It’s got three songs, two of which come from 2019’s God How I Envy the Deaf (review here), which wasn’t out yet when [Lïve Läugh Löve Malört] was recorded, and it’s name your price now on their Bandcamp.
And if you’re wondering about the artwork. It’s the classic logo of Major League Baseball’s Chicago White Sox, and Lïve Läugh Löve Malört was recorded in Chicago, presumably on the appropriate side of town. That or the White Sox just have a cooler logo than the Cubs. Which is true. In any case, they have a magnet to match that’s $5 and I think would look just dandy on my fridge. Easily worth the investment.
From the PR wire:
Heavy rockers CAUSTIC CASANOVA have unleashed a new live EP called Lïve Läugh Löve Malört. The 3 song EP was recorded at Livewire Lounge, Chicago on April 14 2018.
Bassist/Vocalist Francis Beringer commented “Lïve Läugh Löve Malört is a raw soundboard recording from back in April 2018 at LiveWire Lounge in Chicago. That night on tour was everything we miss about live music – a packed house, enthusiastic fans, a welcoming venue and a stacked bill. We hope people will listen and get transported back to the sweaty, sticky, drunken front row at their favorite rock n roll dive when they put this on. As for the title, everyone knows – after a great set in Chicago, shots of the harsh yet delicious Swedish liquor Malört are mandatory.”
Taken from a review of Lïve Läugh Löve Malört by JJ Koczan.