Castevet - I Know What a Lion Is (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


I Know What a Lion Is (2008)


Chicago's Castevet play some of the most seriously challenging beard-rock one can think of. The quartet have the gruff, typically No Idea-esque vocal roar down pat, but they're not backing it up with the usual set of three chords doused in whiskey. There's something lighter and more intricate backing that roar up, and that's a juxtaposition that makes for a really unique sound.

In their handwritten note to the 'org, they note that they get compared to Small Brown Bike, caP'n Jazz, Mineral and Minus the Bear. I can honestly hear hints of all three in there. Opener "Between Berwyn and Bryn Mawr" gets off its shaky emotional footing with some noodly parts, while "Plays One on TV" has those playful mannerisms reminiscent of c'nJ, just with throatier shouts over it all and some muffled backup yells beginning at the three-minute mark that sound like they were sampled right off Four Minute Mile. The closing title track is as majestic as you can get with a recording as muted as this one (the re-recordings on their 'space sound much better).

With songs averaging about five minutes apiece, the band have plenty of time to mix it up, and they utilize it fairly well. Though it doesn't mesh as ideally desired, it's certainly a start. This is a very, very promising and interesting blend of styles I would've never expected to hear collide. Looking forward to the full-length.

I Know What a Lion Is