Wherein a trio of musicians bring to life a series of lamentations/self-reckonings/jeremiads/and lovesong into a wildly impressive grayscale fireworks display.
Have you heard the roar of swirling gutter rainbows run for blocks from heavens least surveilled public urinals, streaming and pooling into depths of sounds and feelings? Did you dive in high and float down into the shadow? Did it have you rocking with it in the dark? Make a suit of regret and anxiety. Make a suite of depressions and histories so sour. Make the guitar bass and drums tell the story when the lyrics, however exculpatory, however expert, can only go so far to tell.
Sean Casement’s voice is raw to the point of grizzled and yet beautiful because he sings truth. Whether engaging radical vulnerability, sharing tragic personal histories or calling out the too often forgotten crimes of empire he is giving it all. The same goes for his guitar which to my ear at different points on this record is so heartbreakingly blue as to like to make one cry.
Yes there’s such a thing as blood rhythm. Valis Vanderlinden-Casement on the drums is playing with economy and power. He stays elastic with the grounding midnight river of vibration provided by Max Brotman’s bass. The fact of Valis’s relation to Sean is worth noting as intergenerational rock outfits are fairly uncommon and this family affair is making powerfully good work.
The cover and insert art are by Chris Johanson who as it happens was in the well cherished SF band Tina Age 13 with Sean back in the day. The painting on the cover entitled Passing is as I understand it eulogy for sweet brother Chris Corales to whom along with Douglass Casement the record is dedicated. It honors them. Pour out a song for all our fallen brothers and sisters. Put on the BLACKPLATE record. It’s the balm."