Castor

Castor

Tracking Sounds Alone

Mud

When Castor toured with Braid a couple years back, it was a blessed event. I was introduced to and blown away by Castor. They went well with Braid and nearly outdid them, in a more understated manner. Vastly different, but of the same ilk. Later I picked up Castor’s self-titled album, along with C-Clamp’s full-length. These two also seemed to go well together — again, different yet complementary.

That history may be why I still associate Castor with Braid and C-Clamp. As incorrect as that may be, my ears hear them as somewhere in the middle ground of Braid’s full-on powerful emo-rock glory and C-Clamp’s patiently evolving, smoothly melodic emo/math rock. Maybe as an average of the two, with a little Shiner thrown in. Totally different… yet similar enough to maybe use as signposts?

Comparisons aside, this is a great album. It was different enough from their debut to make me set it aside for a while after the first listen, yet different enough to make me fall in love with it with the second. Bands evolve and change and grow (we hope), and in Castor’s case it was for the better. Nine songs of some of the most fluid, well-constructed emo/math rock I’ve heard, with the operative word definitely being “fluid.” Glorious melodies flow through well-written songs with mature, developed, well-sung vocals, pleasing harmonies, and great lyrics. Add a dash of high-caliber pop influence to account for some of the infectiousness and you’re getting close. Pretty mellow and low-key even when it rocks. Really, if you’re even mildly interested, you need this. Worth searching for and highly recommended. Mud Records, 905 S. Lynn St., Urbana, IL 61801; http://www.parasol.com

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