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Castevet - Summer Fences (Cover Artwork)

Castevet

Castevet: Summer FencesSummer Fences (2009)
Count Your Lucky Stars

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: mikexdudemikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Please forgive me for being a hypocrite. It's obviously the "thing to do" around the .Org lately: Giving albums that have been sitting on shelves for about two weeks -- tops -- perfect or close-to-perfect scores. I was growing weary of defending and justifying the amount of yellow stars my fellow.
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Please forgive me for being a hypocrite.

It's obviously the "thing to do" around the .Org lately: Giving albums that have been sitting on shelves for about two weeks -- tops -- perfect or close-to-perfect scores. I was growing weary of defending and justifying the amount of yellow stars my fellow staff has been handing out seemingly generously -- until Castevet's Summer Fences flooded my ear canals with their perfect blend of all the greatest moments from the `90s emo/indie/post-hardcore scenes. I finally get it -- an album doesn't always need longevity as evidence; it's sometimes so painfully obvious within its compositions and craftsmanship.

When Castevet released their demo, I Know What a Lion Is, last year, I was immediately sold on their prowess and maturity. I even went as far saying it was almost as good as Polar Bear Club's demo. Almost. Their debut,Summer Fences (which includes demo tracks) bares a reverberating semblance to to the aural beauty of American Football: sometimes building on a simple, repetitious pull-off riff, while sometimes the notes are in a vibrant conversation, cascading through layers of different colors and emotions. They're vocally reminiscent to post-hardcore geniuses Small Brown Bike, but are organized and tucked back in such a way where the vocals are merely a component to the big picture -- like it's an instrument. Not in that pretentious yet goofy Ponytail way, mind you.

Opening with "Between Berwyn and Bryn Mawr," like their demo, is the band at full potential. With distinguishable verses and gruff screams that lead to speedy riffs of restraint, they choose to expose themselves early on. Every track that follows is breaking down and experimenting with the formula introduced by the intro track. On one end, you have "Plays One on TV," which is upbeat and more Cap'n Jazz-esque and on the other you have "Beating High Schoolers at Arcade Games" that has a more relaxed, instrumental feel; the band will choose to focus on certain aspects in their songwriting throughout to sculpt an album that must be listened to completely through and with an open, analytical mind. On paper, that's an intimidating feat -- eight songs, with a run time of 45:40 and only two songs below five minutes -- but it's actually an easy listen. Even though I'd really like to see what this band can do with a shorter frame of time, the songs hardly overstay their welcome and just breeze by with their slightly atmospheric tendencies. All I know is, Summer Fences replaces American Football's self-titled as my go-to summertime bike-riding music.

Wow, I really should have written a lot more for such a hefty score, but it's kind of a "you have to hear it for yourself." Especially at a time where there's like five `90s emo throwback bands in each scene, Castevet blow the rest away with a sickeningly thorough knowledge of the genre on this masterpiece. I know I've been accused of hyperbole in the past, and while I really stand by everything I say, I hope it doesn't turn you off from buying this record. It's been a little more than half a year and Summer Fences is the first album I'd consider a "must-have" for 2009.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Algernon Cadwallader - Some Kind of CadwalladerThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundDear Landlord - Dream HomesCastevet - The Echo & The Light [12-inch]Jimmy Eat World - ClarityAlkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireMy Heart to Joy - Seasons in VerseRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeWeatherbox - American ArtPolar Bear Club - Sometimes Things Just Disappear

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
bandgeekmafia78 (October 25, 2012)

Their music is lovely. Not keen on the vocals personally but I understand why others do.

devianter (November 7, 2010)

where can i find a cd guys ?

damnitsderek (November 2, 2009)

I just got this today, and am currently being blown away by it.

winwinwinwinwinwin.

thornsoflife (August 23, 2009)

this is up with shook ones for album of the year, hell maybe even number 1

xshoutoutx (July 19, 2009)

This record definitely let me down. After the 'I Know What A Lion Is' demo came out, I could not wait to see what this band could do, but I felt Summer Fences just kind of never picked up and really went anywhere. 90's emo revival is what pop-punk was to 2008, between these guys and bands like algernon, we're gonna be seeing a lot of Kinsella-esque bands popping up. Complaining aside, it was definitely a good release, just kind of left me unfulfilled in the end.

kram1234 (July 13, 2009)

didnt mean to be a douche... wasnt a good day for me.. sorrry. hahaha

Slacker (July 13, 2009)

To Blackjaw: Yeah I realised that isn't the band. I read the review and checked the myspace out and was expecting a sound described in the review and all I heard was shitty metal :P I found out soon enough that there were two bands caled Castevet

icapped2pac (July 12, 2009)

Also, Blackjaw, I know I owe you a list, but I Am The Thief was my ace in the hole. Nothing else I could name would measure up, and it would be a very short list considering this site and random friend requests are the only way I hear about new bands. By the way, did you and Mike see the videos I shot of new Daylight songs they played live?

icapped2pac (July 12, 2009)

I almost agree with Mike, just a half star lower. I think it's great, but they're obviously capable of having a 5-star album in them. Oh and I thought the review was fine, and would work whether or not you were already familiar with their music.

mikexdude (July 11, 2009)

I have no problem with criticism, I just find it weird that I am getting shit from a musician about being stoked on a band. Everyone has ears and access to myspace, so reviews are essentially pointless so I did my job I could do: describe who they sound like and their approach. I find this to be one of the best albums of this genre I have ever heard. This band didn't go out of their way to send me their stuff, I just found it and wanted to spread the word. Praise isn't bad when it's deserved and it definitely is here.

mikexdude (July 11, 2009)

horrible review. sucking the tite of the band while cradling there balls. Its a great album don't get me wrong, but to go as far as praise it in a review is pathetic. no mentions of a mellow sound like explosions in the sky? or how the vocals contribute to the beard rock feeeel

Thanks for the feedback. I don't now if you've ever heard American Football, but they're well... uh, mellow. So I figured that along with "relaxed instrumental feel" that I got that point across. Also, what's wrong with praising a band? If you gave an album a close to .5 away from a perfect score, do you not expect it to be somewhat "cradling."

I feel your points are highly invalid, nit picky, and just plain stupid.

Blackjaw_x (July 11, 2009)

And to make sure, Slacker, you do know that's not the right one, right? :P

Oh and Kram1234, if you weren't in Calculator I'd... you know what, what you said makes me not want to like Calculator anymore. Just because you'd review it differently, namedropping a band like that because they're "mellow" (I really don't see how either band is best described as mellow) and saying the vocals "contribute to the beard rock feeeel", doesn't mean this review is bad. Like I would have added something about the genius illusion of simplicity and repetition that makes Castevet much more pleasing to the ear than all the emo-revival bands that just masturbate over their guitars, possessing technical ability but ultimately coming up with a nearly unlistenable sound. But just because I'd say that and Mike didn't doesn't mean his review is bad. Well he did basically say both what I just said and what you said, but in his own way that works just as well. He also did very little "tite sucking" or "ball cradling", there was more than enough objective evidence mentioned in this review to defend the 4.5 star rating. I'd like to see your review.

Slacker (July 11, 2009)

Hah! I decided to check this band out and stumbled upon this http://www.myspace.com/castevet and thought this is real shitty.

kram1234 (July 11, 2009)

horrible review. sucking the tite of the band while cradling there balls. Its a great album don't get me wrong, but to go as far as praise it in a review is pathetic. no mentions of a mellow sound like explosions in the sky? or how the vocals contribute to the beard rock feeeel

ChuckieFinster (July 11, 2009)

This is seriously some of the best new music I've heard in years. Already a classic.

suburbanxcore (July 10, 2009)

This record really is great.

dlangl4 (July 10, 2009)

Oh and I just downloaded this on emusic. Can't wait to listen to it.

dlangl4 (July 10, 2009)

It makes perfect sense to me for there to be a lot of 4 star albums on this website. Why? Because this is a website about punk music. The people here love this type of music, and they're going to disproportionately review the albums they love. Those 2 reasons stack on top of each other. No one should be surprised when a bunch of people review an album they love and give it 4/5 stars.

Blackjaw_x (July 10, 2009)

I always think reviews are actually given less stars than they should. Brian's thing is to give 3.5 when the review talks about the album being good, and 3 stars if it's okay, and that's it. If an album's good I would want to give it 4 or more, because with the hundreds of thousands of albums out there, only about a thousand are good, so they need to be put in the highest percentage of scores. Unless they're being scored solely against other good albums, then there would be some 2 stars in there. But that's not the case on here because no good albums have been given 2 stars, because no one would understand that 2 stars vs. HWM's 5 stars means that 2 star album is probably awesome still. I just hate the score parts of reviews, the system will never work. I would rather read the review and figure it out myself. Or if the system's out of 100 then that would work okay, like my top 10 albums of all time can all be over 95 but you still see that some of those are better than the others (99 vs. 96, etc).

Anyway, this is beginning to look like a paragraph and TrueBeliever could be nearby.

mikexdude (July 10, 2009)

stfu

bryne (July 10, 2009)

Hey Mike, this review needs moar Polar Bear Club references.

mikexdude (July 10, 2009)

Hey Bryne, gtfo.

bryne (July 10, 2009)

People around here put too much weight into how many (or how few) stars an album gets.

Oh yeah, this album rules by the way.

acris (July 10, 2009)

givemeamuseum: I've seen them (they play a decent amount of shows in Chicago). They're awesome live.

colin (July 10, 2009)

not bad at all. i do wish it was heavier at times.

Blackjaw_x (July 10, 2009)

I've seen live videos and they seemed damn near flawless to me.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (July 10, 2009)

Yeah, I'll definently look forward to what they'll do next. Has anyone seen 'em? Are they as good as they should be?

plagues (July 10, 2009)

Seems like there has been quite a "revival" of the 90s emo scene lately. I'm stoked.

mikexdude (July 10, 2009)

ps. Mike, I was wondering when you were going to put up a review.

Que?

acris (July 10, 2009)

Real good. Super cool guys as well.

ps. Mike, I was wondering when you were going to put up a review.

mikexdude (July 10, 2009)

Checked this out, like it. I wish it had better dynamics, music of this kind definently relies on that. It'll probably grow to a 7.5 soon though.

I definitely had that problem when I first heard american football. I feel that, since you can't write 7 minute long indie jams for your whole life, that they'll become more dynamic/shorter in the future. I am excited for what they can do.

Blackjaw_x (July 10, 2009)

Revenge, it would help if you didn't steal it, and got the cd so you could hear it in its best potential quality. Oh and I'm sure the band members appreciate you openly ripping them off in their review comments.

And 24hr, is it necessary to put that half a star rating in your irrelevant comment? Now the User Rating will be skewed, and... ugh.

danperrone (July 10, 2009)

album of the year!!!

ffwoodycooks (July 10, 2009)

"I just find it funny that you've started talking about FOTL now even though they've been a band for years now."

ive talked about them before but, i started talking about them a lot lately because they just came out with (what i feel is) the best album of the past 5 years.

On Topic:
.............. i got nothing. sorry.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (July 10, 2009)

I just find it funny that you've started talking about FOTL now even though they've been a band for years now.

On topic: Checked this out, like it. I wish it had better dynamics, music of this kind definently relies on that. It'll probably grow to a 7.5 soon though.

ffwoodycooks (July 10, 2009)

its alright. Its not like its Future of the Left or anything
..........
i need to stop that

mikexdude (July 10, 2009)

I usually get tired of the "guy shouting across the room to get his friend's attention" vocals pretty quickly. Latterman had zero staying power, though I do like them.

I don't know exactly what you mean, but if you're referring to the mix, it sounds nothing like Latterman. The vocals themselves are more intense.

R3vengeTherapy (July 10, 2009)

Stealing this now to see if it's any good.

I usually get tired of the "guy shouting across the room to get his friend's attention" vocals pretty quickly. Latterman had zero staying power, though I do like them.

24hourpriapism (July 10, 2009)

dude, we get it. you like polar bear club. jeez.

Blackjaw_X (July 10, 2009)

I'll post outside of the beta so my score can show up and boost that "user rating". And yes, I meant to put 5 stars.

Blackjaw_x (July 10, 2009)

Album of the year.

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