CAUSTIC CASANOVA “Glass Enclosed Nerve Center”
By Lord Randall
CAUSTIC CASANOVA’s decision to augment the long-standing trio by adding Jake Kimberly on guitars bears fruit from the start, opener ‘Anubis Rex’ robust and invigorating/-ed, kicking off with some hybrid of spaghetti western, cock rock and surf, a dual-string attack clearly suiting the band. Add to this the trident-pronged vocals, and the D.C. act arsenal’s chock-full o’ ingredients that should guarantee success. But can they put their tools to good use over the course of “Glass Enclosed Nerve Center” without wandering too far afield in the process?
If “Lodestar” is any indication, yes, and since the band’s always had rather an “everything up to and including the kitchen sink” approach, maybe I shouldn’t be worried. Jagged in a somewhat noise-rocky sort of way, injections of techno-freakout and a smattering of high school pep rally enthusiasm pave the way into the PIXIES / CAKE-influenced “A Bailar Con Cuarantena” which is, if anything, even more of an earworm on a rollercoaster than the album’s been thus far.
At 22+ minutes “Bull Moose Against The Sky” could have been a catastrophe, and probably “should” have been, taking up over half of CAUSTIC CASANOVA’s 5th as it does. Instead, the heady transitions between CLUTCH-ed lyrical eloquence, The Great American Songbook’s sense of longing and frontiersmen-ship, abrasive, lumbering riffing (Remember the two guitars now? You will if you’d forgotten) and climactic, well…climax…is less whiplash-inducing and more strangely naturally flowing than expected.
Your traditional metal fan’s honestly not going to find a lot here, but for the more open-minded fans of virtually any other style of music, “Glass Enclosed Nerve Center” is a waystation on the trek of a band that is genuinely onto something deserving of attention and respect.