The independent record label Radio is Down of Olympia, Washington, USA, home of the likes of Replicator (USA), Ex Wives (Scotland), Bellini (Italy/USA) and others, proudly presents its new, sixteenth release - the debut album by Croatia's Cripple and Casino.
Matt Lebens, the owner of Radio is Down, heard the band through their MySpace page. Several songs, recorded in Cripple and Casino's practice space with one microphone, to a minidisc taken out from a trashcan by a friend of the band, composed and played with minimal technical skill (none of the members had ever played the instrument they play in the band ever before) were promising enough for Lebens, so in the summer of 2008, he offered to put out the band's first album, once they record it.
Near the end of 2008, after a year of work and merely 6 months since the forming of the final lineup, Cripple and Casino entered the Kozmo studio in Zagreb, where they recorded and mixed 10 songs which combine post punk, noise rock and post hardcore, and carry on the sonic legacy of Fugazi, Jesus Lizard, Sonic Youth, Jawbox etc., all this in a unique and authentic manner, without any limitations from their label manager. Mijo Gladovic (Analena, Lunar), Vedran Brlecic (Contract), Sasa Relic (Don't Mess With Texas, Lunar) and Mihael Bele (Peach Pit) provided their priceless assistance in the studio. The material then flew over the ocean once again, and was mastered by Ben Adrian in San Francisco.
Cripple and Casino will be promoting this record of how they formed, lost, searched, found and grew with a series of shows in the region, starting with their hometown Zagreb. Come visit them and fetch your copy of this exciting release!
crippleandcasino AT gmail DOT com
released September 6, 2009
-- Georg Gartlgruber, CRACKED
There is a driving, rumbling beat that runs through all songs, no matter how many breaks or false starts they build into the song. The guitar is sometimes edgy, sometimes affluent with high pitched notes or weird chords, sometimes also goes straight into power chords (“Particles” or “Intro”) while the bass and drums lay a fundament of beats that range from straight forward racing to an almost reggae stance. These dynamics between straight energetic punk and weird jangling postcore make for the main fascination of all the songs. You may wiggle your head during the softer spots knowing that an energetic release will come sooner or later to help you go bezerk on the dancefloor, if you want to. After all it is still about punkrock. Never forget, the whole album starts with the sound of a motor revving up, so you know what you are in for. Petra, the singer, screams and shouts and moans and sings, whatever style seems fit, about the troubles of our modern day existence in between the impetus of media content, the overall coldness of the capitalist system and about the will and guts and power it takes to keep up being an individual in these circumstances. About how hard it is sometimes to just get up in the morning and face live as it has turned out. And that after all it is the personal relationships with people, who you get to know on a very intimate basis, are the things that count in life. And that those hurt the most, if they fail, break up or turn out to be false. Don’t worry, musically this is (still) nowhere close to what used to be great about Gossip but has turned so bland and uninteresting once fame hit them and they turned to lifestyle and glamour instead of substance. I prefer Cripple and Casino a lot because with them I feel an honesty and realness in the music that is unfortunately amiss in 99.9 % of all other music around. (and which is, it seems, one of my basic criteria for music these days…) Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of potential in Cripple and Casino and their self-titled debut is great in many ways, as described above.
-- Andrew, AVERSIONLINE
Most of the vocals are kind of half-spoken, half-shouted, or half-sung, and the music is loaded with a strong blend of caustic, angular riffing around roving basslines; driving "alt. rock" power chords; little bits and pieces of melody; and plenty of spacious breaks that let the rhythm section do most of the legwork. They do a great job of creating memorable (and almost catchy, at times) arrangements from all of these assorted sounds, and I really am a huge fan of this stuff.
-- Birkir Fjalar, HALIFAX COLLECT
It would be a shame if you'd overlook this record. The sound is vibrant and alive, like only simple and raw production values could achieve. Every instrument shines, due to the simple set-up. I love that. Petra's vocal performance rules as well. She stays clear of the typical mousy yelps so many punk songstresses resort to when fronting a band. Far too often the ladies adopt that sort of harmless too-gentle-for-its-own-good approach. Petra does not. She also has a secret weapon. Her screams. They are intelligible and aggressive. They get me all worked up. There is a perfect balance between those and the more clean singing. So don't go thinking it's a sappy over-load because it's quite the opposite. By all means, check Cripple and Casino out asap.
-- Ivan Mucnjak JR, HOMBREZONE
CAC have their vision of noise rock, which is not in fact filtered noise, nor is it classic rock. In the 10 offered songs, what is heard is a firm and flexible noise background of the Bellini/Uzeda crowd, the loud and modern college indie of Future of the Left, and less nervous fragments of forgotten Silverfish. The band is "limitedly energic", does not rush and all instruments have an equal ponder and treatment. CAC are not conceptually agressive or unpleasant, but their songs are edgy and rough, dotted with signs of sharpness. All in all, a certain "negative" atmosphere created properly and without banal/transparent solutions. The instrumental performance itself is simple and determined, and although I had some restraints towards the vocal while listening to their demo, it stands that Petra's voice is functional and suits the musical background completely. She sings and holds the melody when necessary, goes into the phrasing of one Leslie Rankine or early PJ Harvey when the song requires it and it all has a very convincing effect.
Cripple and Casino is Petra, Zec, Marko and Sven. Since 2007 they have challenged the underground music scene with their
noisy post punk aesthetics - half-spoken, half-shouted and half-sung vocals, strong blend of caustic, angular riffing around roving basslines and and plenty of spacious rhythm breaks....more