Tuesday 1 December 2015

Review: Acid Casualty – 'King Outcast'

'King Outcast'

Michigan, USA's Acid Casualty are a bit of an oddity. The electronic-industrial two-piece have a distinct sound that owes a lot to the 80s and 90s industrial scene. The beats are simple, the songs are fairly stripped back and they don't overindulge in the trappings of the modern sound. Instead we get a purer exploration of hardware and the interplay of groove and melody.

There is a nice seedy edge to the band's sound with the dominant synth bass permeating each track on the EP. The distorted vocals are not overly manipulated, but given enough treatment to make them sound creepy. And the heavy use of a pure piano sound for the lead melodies adds a more delicate dimension to the songs.

'UltraViolence' opens with it's swinging drum beat and simple synth bass over which the vocals and lead piano melody push the song. It's a very simple opener but one that is nonetheless infectious for it. 'King Outcast' follows on with a little more texture in the mix, but again the piano and vocals over a simple synth bass and jarring drum beat create something quite addictive out of as few ingredients. The third and final track on the album, 'Sea Of Hate' attacks with a more forceful rhythm and bass combo and adds some more synth sounds to bulk out the track more and it works well for it without betraying that “less is more” quality of the first two songs.

The production has a retro flavour to it but it isn't low-fi in any way. It is nicely mixed, and has enough spit and polish to bring the various elements of each track out. There's no needless distortion or cavernous echo like you'd expect for a band that is trying to get that rough early sound. Instead it sounds clean and classic.

'King Outcast' is an unusual EP but a surprisingly satisfying one. It may be stripped back, straightforward and quite retro in it's construction. But that doesn't take away from the songwriting talent behind it. It is at the end of the day a solid and addictive listen that shows a lot of promise from this act.  

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