U.K.’s Casual Nun Unroll Aggressively Exciting Noise Rock On Brand New Album

On their new album Resort For Dead Desires, the U.K. group Casual Nun sound like they’ve sent the core of gripping noise rock through a blender and left the contents out on a driveway to bake in the sun for awhile before collecting the material back up and packaging the songs.

Throughout their latest offering, there’s a strong, almost post-punk-ishly aggressive and irreverent, flippantly energetic melodicism, but there’s also a heavy helping of shiningly ambitious segues like a foray into piano melody, rowdily shaking performances that sound a bit like the musicians are atop a rodeo ride at a state fair, and more. There’s even — as the label Hominid Sounds points out — a song (called “Rabbits”) about “a kid that thinks immortal rabbits live inside your head.” Casual Nun musically deliver on the promise of that odd thematic notion big time.

Besides the more flowing melody that really underlines this whole cacophonous mix for quite awhile, there are also some blasts of solo-worthy riffing atop the mixture almost right from the get-go on album opener “Party Favors.” The songs prove both catchy and aggressive; they’re both entertaining and exhilarating. Casual Nun sound somewhat like they’ve captured the experience of a fist-pumping dance across some packed hall thanks to their just galloping along lashes of energetically enhanced guitar melody with lots of hazy feedback and other sonic wanderings in the mixture. It’s a bit more aggressive and unrestrained than a simple dance feeling — but that’s the idea. Resort For Dead Desires¬†packs something like the music for cruising down a treacherous highway.

The album packs ultimately consistently quite aggressive rock with an airy, flippant, and forward-lurching extra melodic streak. Elements including that piano, stripped back guitar strums on “Pink Celestial Heron (PCH),” and ethereal drum rhythms on “Heavy Liquid” help spotlight the strong melodic attention at the album’s center. The band don’t sound like they’re nearly as concerned with filling out any kind of rock or noise rock checklist — nope, they’re instead trying to use the flowing along melody to get to whatever shiny place on the distant horizon that they happen to be after. There’s always a torrential undercurrent; the music, while melodically strong, feels energetic to the point that exhaustion comes built in. Yet, the rowdy melody-driven excitement remains.

5/5 Stars

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