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Cast - Love Is The Call Album Cover

WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM CAST – LOVE IS THE CALL

Rock, pop, rock n roll….whatever you want to call this wondrous passion of ours has a history littered with long-forgotten great bands. Those bands that always seem to get overlooked on ‘greatest lists’. Bands that never get a mention or any historical praise. Never cited as an influence… “the reason I first picked up a guitar is ’cause of XXX” and yet, inevitably, on the rare occasions these bands do get a mention, or a tune played on the airwaves, it is generally to the delight of everyone within earshot. ‘Oh yeah, they were great….’ or a ‘wow….I LOVE this track….’ 

Cast epitomise these great bands. Back in the early nineties when John Power emerged from the remnants of The La’s, it was perhaps because he’d already been a key inspiration for that generation-defining band that he appeared content for Cast to exist in an almost stealth-like parallel to Britpop. Releasing, what was to become one of the decade’s finest catalogues of work, in the days when chart positions reflected the public investing hard-earned cash Cast’s first three albums all went top ten producing no less than seven top ten singles such was the quality of the bands timeless, guitar driven pop. 

Almost thirty years later Cast are back with their new album ‘Love Is The Call’. Recorded last summer at ‘Space Mountain’ studios in Granada, Spain with legendary Grammy Award-winning producer Youth, it is a record that stands shoulder to shoulder with any of the band’s finest material. And not just shoulder to shoulder, I’d put money on fans and critics claiming this is some of the band’s finest material. It’s simply that good 

Having been already teased by three excellent singles, including most recently the sublimely beautiful ‘Far Away’, I was eager to hear if ‘Love Is The Call’ lived up to expectations. I was not disappointed, this is a wondrously uplifting, joyous record full of anthemic songs of hope, togetherness and love, not ‘she loves you love’, but the love that so sadly seems to be missing in these fucking cruel, barbaric times we live in. ‘Love Is The Call’ indeed… let’s just hope some of the fuckers listen!

The album opens with the short but beautifully introspectively sombre ‘Bluebird’. Johns’s iconic transatlantic Scouse drawl is there in its full glory almost immediately. It’s instantly familiar and very welcome indeed.

Then it’s straight into what Cast do best – straightforward, no-nonsense, anthemic guitar pop. It’s all catchy hooks, every melody/harmony/chord change is instantly familiar., choruses are anthemic and have you singing along on first hearing.

With some quite bizarre sixth sense, John Power succeeds in writing the songs that already seem to exist inside all of us, such is the accessibility of this album. 

It never really strays far from its magic formula, but why would it? ‘Forever And A Day’ may have its brief flirtation with a sitar-like riff but it’s undoubtedly one hundred per cent Cast! “Time is Like a River’ drifts off briefly but this is, without doubt, Cast at their very finest.

‘Rain That Falls’ sounds fresher than anything from the band’s stunning debut ‘All Change’… thirty years old almost. This record is just so fucking good

‘Far Away’ is sublime. I previously reviewed this single heaping buckets of praise on the track… weeks later it just sounds even more beautiful.

‘Starry Eyes’ delivers more of John’s introspection. There’s a dark story somewhere behind this track but what a fucking chorus… this is no doubt going to be a highlight of the band’s forthcoming shows, especially with Liam (Skin) Tyson going all full on Neil Young with his blistering guitars all over the track.

‘Love You Like I Do’ and ‘Love Is The Call’ do exactly what John said in early interviews, visiting the time between The La’s and Cast, retrospectively filling in that transition. But these tracks just add to the confusion here, this is a band that’s been around for three decades and yet sounds more like a young hungry band than most of todays, so-called, young hungry bands..  

‘Look Around’ is in danger of being the most stereotypical Cast song ever. In two minutes and forty seconds, it pretty much encapsulates every single great element Cast put in a song.. it’s infectious, energetic, and straight in your face. It’s an earworm but It’s ‘just another one of many’ in the band’s catalogue. That’s how good Cast are.

‘Time Is Like a River’ is a dreamy meander through Johns’s mind. The melodies and harmonies take us back to that landscape, or should it be dreamscape once again somewhere between The La’s and Cast and the album’s spectacular finale ‘Tomorrow Calls My Name’ is Cast at their absolute finest. Wonderfully cinematic, anthemic, positive, uplifting… set to beautiful swelling strings the mantra ends the album…

‘all that you see, and everyone looking at me, you know they’re gonna be alright’, 

‘and all that you fear, all the pain and all the tears, you know it’s gonna be alright’  

‘and all that you love, and everything in heaven above, you know it’s gonna be alright’ 

‘you know it’s gonna be alright… you know it’s gonna be alright

‘and all that you love, and everything in heaven above, you know it’s gonna be alright’ 

If Cast are new to you, buy this album and explore the band’s back catalogue, you won’t be disappointed. If you remember the first time, it’s time to rekindle the love affair you never knew you had.

The band will play a number of intimate record store dates in February before embarking on a headline UK tour in March and then will appear as special guests of Liam Gallagher at his forthcoming summer shows. Full details can be found on the band’s socials below…

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