Album review: CAST – reissues (All Change, Mother Nature Calls, Magic Hour, Beetroot)

Cast - All Change

Edsel Records [Release date 03.02.14]

Cast embarked on their traditional low-key pre-Christmas dates in 2013 and celebrated their 20th anniversary with a new album ‘Troubled Times’.  With their first four albums now expanded to deluxe editions, the time is perhaps right for a proper re-evaluation.

The band – formed in Liverpool in 1992 with members of The Las and Shack – influenced many of their Britpop contemporaries, not least the Gallaghers.  It is easy to trace their lineage in Oasis’ recorded debut in 1994 and in another local band, the underrated The Real People who pre-dated them.

The band’s 1995 debut ‘All Change’ (the biggest selling debut album for the Polydor label) is full of jangly guitars and late-sixties psychedelia tinged with Fab Four inflection and now expanded with B-sides, demos, live tracks and various BBC radio sessions.  Some great tracks here including ‘Sandstorm’, ‘Mankind’, ‘Four Walls’ and ‘Back Of My Mind’.   *****

1997′s Mother Nature Calls is perhaps less immediate or distinctive as their debut but still produced several hit singles including ‘Live The Dream’ and ‘Guiding Star’.  There’s more light and shade as on ‘I’m So Lonely’ replete with strings.  Again, the bonuses include previously unreleased live tracks and a couple of BBC session tracks.  ***1/2

Interestingly some observers call the band ‘The Who of the 90s’ and that second album influenced by the Stones and the Faces.  I can’t hear this myself.  The Kinks, maybe?

By the time of the band’s third album Magic Hour the Britpop movement had peaked.  This album was a little heavier than previous and sits better with their debut.  With only one hit single – ‘Beat Mama’ – the band’s fortunes were changing and several of their contemporaries had already folded or been dropped by the labels,  for example, Kula Shaker.

There’s some good stuff here, notably ‘The Feeling Remains’ and the strings-inflected ‘Hideaway’.     The second disc features more BBC sessions and unreleased material.  ***1/2

Cast - Beetroot

The band’s final Polydor album Beetroot was released in 2001 and marked a distinct change of musical direction with the use of loops and samples and a Latin and mainstream pop vibe far removed from that visceral guitar-oriented debut.  ***

Buyers should be aware that the BBC tracks are available on the 2007 ‘Complete BBC Sessions’ and in respect of ‘All Change’ there is some overlap with the 2010 reissue which included more demo and alternate versions than here.  We didn’t have the hard copies for review or the DVDs, so I can’t comment on the packaging or the filmed content,  but I would imagine Edsel have done their usual thorough job.

Cast frontman John Power has also toured on his own recently and has appeared in a play about John Lennon but the original band do still get together for those traditional end of year gigs and hopefully will continue to do so.  With hindsight, and as evidenced here, a band that never quite re-captured the impact – and consistency – of that superb 1995 debut.

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts, Reissues and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply