By Oliver Shasha
After three years marked by bristling online activity and an album’s worth of former singles, Cassia have finally released their debut album ‘Replica’, made out of former singles. Casting this aside, and with the desire to remain both fair and objective, it’ll be (mostly) ignored that just four out of the eleven songs on this album are new…
From their humble beginnings using Facebook endorsements to fuel their beastly bongo hype machine, i’m happy to announce that the UK’s most modest Indie outfit have decided to put these times behind them, affirming that: “they have already amassed a staggering 3 million Spotify streams based purely on word of mouth”. It really is staggering how many words you can squeeze into one’s mouth once you get Mr Zuckerberg involved.
Releasing a myriad of radio friendly singles, and accompanied by enough acoustic sessions to furnish a Cornish vegan festival, Cassia had already established a keen young audience in and around their Macclesfield base. With ‘Replica’ though, they’ve surpassed regional stardom, and can now add the ‘bandana wearer’s soundtrack to the summer’ to their long and exaggerated list of online accolades. Sure to dominate the hi-fi systems of your Topmans and your River Islands all over, ‘Replica’ is not so much a composed, nor coherent body of work, but ‘A-Punk’, 11 times over.
Listen to ‘Small Spaces’ here:
Throughout the album are potent themes of Afrobeat influenced percussion – bongos and shakers are heavily incorporated and usually kick the songs off with a real vibrancy, that is of course before the thoughtless guitars and homogenous vocals hooks detract and deplete all the hard work that’s gone into that groove. The first moments of ‘Movers and Shapers’ is especially transcendent, with polyrhythmic parts that aren’t instantly heaved aside by the inevitable vocal melo…fuck, and that’s that.
I’ll gladly concede that these songs are uplifting in tone, and hearing them from a safe distance on a hot day at Neighbourhood Weekender, you may even resist the temptation to reduce every fibre of your essence to a bitter resentment, but after a whole 40 minutes of sunshine and optimism, you’re jaw really begins to ache, so you defrock the VO5, undress that striped shirt pipe dream, and see the gimmick that lies within.
As the the album draws to a close, it seems that Cassia will do anything in their power to force a smile out of you, and realising i only had two and a half minutes left to endure, i happily consented. Under the guise of the familiar seven songs that we already know, the genericness of these four songs hypnotise the listener into forgetting that they’ve even heard any new tracks, and they are whisked back to a comfortable dependance on singles. Apart from contributing to the sensation of watching Groundhog Day on repeat, these new songs are a minute exercise in filler. I seriously suggest that the boys rebrand the album as a marketing campaign for recycling, before the Vampire Weekend lawyers get a whiff.