Basics: The band's MySpace page reveals a fun little tidbit about the process of recording Building:
"One year ago we recorded a record. It's a pretty good record called "building a better disaster". So we've been all stoked and chillin and getting pretty drunk and then after a year someone said, "what happened to that awesome record we made?" oh shit".
Oh shit, indeed. Luckily for me -- and for you, if you're reading this -- the album finally saw the light of day. Complete with Panic at the Disco-inspired, sentence-long song titles, Building a Better Disaster is actually a rather decent YAFI offering. Believe you me, though -- I had my doubts about listening to songs like "I'm not an addict, I'm a politician with a party agenda" and "Your haircut really accents your indifference."
Best Song: Thankfully, Casket Life isn't shitty emo. Their song titles had me worried, but their music spoke for itself -- and what it had to say wasn't about a broken heart and an allover-print hoodie. Casket Life dwell in the more "Oy! Oy!" punk sentiment, making for loud, energetic songs that mostly clock in at right around three minutes long. "Pro Beer. Pro Baditude," while it may be the best titled track on the album, is also one of the more sophisticated, layered songs. It sounds like three songs all crammed into one, and that's a pretty impressive feat given the band's chosen genre's rather basic song structures. Also, I'm pro-beer and oftentimes pro-baditude.
Worst Song: Sometimes, if you're not the biggest fan of punk rock/hardcore music, listening to the same, fast-paced song in succession can become a bit tiring. Casket Life make fun, lightning-fast music that, I'm sure, riles the crowd up to no end. When listening to their album, however, listening to song after blistering song can become a chore. "I'd rather be living by a highway in Riverside" is the 7th song on the album -- smack dab in the middle, if you will. At this point, my ears couldn't take another screaming chorus and more machine gun drumming. It's a fine song -- true to the band's sound -- but they make me pick a "worst" song. So there you have it.
Suggestions: Make this album more widely available. I know the band has been plugging away for a while now, and Building a Better Disaster is a testament to all of that hard work. A basic search for an opportunity to purchase the album came up fruitless, but perhaps I am missing something. I know Casket Life is unsigned, so an easier-said-than-done suggestion would be to find a label.
If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:
Michael Lopez You Asked For It c/o Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85034