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Album Review: Cast – Troubled Times

3 min read

Back in the early nineties when the Brit-pop movement was at its peak Cast were one of the defining bands to make the genre internationally recognized and they have always been considered one of the founding bands of the era. Along with peers like Echo and the Bunnymen, Blur, Supergrass and Suede, they found a place in the hearts of millions of Brits and pushed the boundaries of their sound creating what would become one of British music’s most defining musical moments.

CastTroubledTimesCast molded a career out of the Brit-pop movement and released several albums in the nineties before splitting in 2001. The band decided to get back together in 2010 and that decision was soon followed by a successful tour of many UK cities. The band have now put together a comeback record in the hope of capturing what made this band so iconic back in the mid-90’s.

The four piece are gearing up for the release of their latest record and one that has been a very long time in the making. It is safe to say that Troubled Times, Cast’s 5th studio record, is their comeback album. It’s been 11 years since we were last presented with a full length record from the Liverpudlian act and that release was 2001’s, Beetroot. Troubled Times is an ambitious release with hopes of doing a lot better that the last release which only managed to find home at a peak position of 78 on the UK charts back then, disappointing for a band who, in their heyday with records like their iconic debut, All Change, and their following 3 records, were used to being in the Top 10.

Cast’s latest venture finds its place fairly quickly with the opening Bow Down and Troubled Thoughts. Both have a clangy guitar led musical structure and an effortless feel to them and bode well in the opening of the bands latest record proving to be memorable additions.

The Sky’s Got A Gaping Hole remind us of exactly why we love Cast so much. The track brings us right up to date with the four piece as it shows off the bands untamed, Brit-pop signature sound and stands as the records highlight.

The track-listing of Troubled Times is a fairly tight package though the only drawback on the record is that each of the songs here sounds very similar, following the same structure and instrumentation making each track sound like a continuation of the previous with the same mid-tempo quality.

Hold on Tight is a catchy addition to the closing section of the record. Front man John Power provides the track with some charismatic vocals while the band tie together a melodic, indie addition that comes complete with the thumping of a cowbell and infectious bridge.

Troubled Times is a bit of a mixed bag. The band still have the knack for writing some radio friendly songs although exactly how much airplay these songs will get is yet to be seen. Back in the 90’s Cast were garnished with a priority status however times have changed and new acts with a more evolved sound have emerged over the past few years and have claimed those priorities. Music has moved on and although it is great to have the iconic collective back with us, their sound hasn’t shown much movement after 20 years.

The original foursome of John Power (guitar/ vocals), Liam ‘Skin’ Tyson (lead guitar), Pete Wilkinson (bass) and Keith O’ Neill (drums) still make up Cast and the band are presenting the latest record ahead of a tour that will take them around the country playing to new and old fans and ending at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire.

Buy ‘Cast – Troubled Times’ from Amazon