Casey Brandt
"Dawn of the Godless Children: NYC"

(Mungler Winslowe Records 2006)Casey Brandt - Dawn of the Godless Children: NYC

It might be advisable to steer clear of Casey Brandt around daybreak. While Brandt -- aka Furious Billy aka Twilight Dump -- may be trying to pass off "Dawn of the Godless Children: NYC" as part of his five album concept project corresponding to dawn, day, twilight, night and sleep, it is a frightening experience. From the dark melodies and fluctuating guitar riffs to Brandt's aggressive and bitter lyrics which he delivers in his typically gruff vocals, it is unclear if the Baltimore expatriate simply hates New York City or is just giving it a good natured ribbing and some tough love.

Gritty guitar riffs set the dark mood for the vitriolic lyrics of "Blood on the Bowery" and "East River Destroyer," where a booming, ominous voice echoes in the background. Light and dark come together for the whimsical but eerie carnival-like melody of "Suit up the Beast" as Brandt, in a raspy voice, sings, "today's a good day to die." An unrushed meander, "Straw and Bone" strips down the instruments slightly and focuses, instead, on a memorable melody and Brandt's vocals. "Here come the enemy again/Load up on beer and grab the battle axe," Brandt sings on the bouncy and darkly mangled surf sounds of "Army of Wrath." Instrumentals are sprinkled throughout the album such as the jagged see-sawing melody of "Cold Slaughter Under the Wheels of Olde Greene" and the slow and heavy "Infestation."

As always Brandt's uncomplicated songs are simple and extremely effective with their loose punk feel and abandonment of the rules. The short, quirky tunes are as enjoyable for their memorable melodies as for Brandt's lyrics. And despite the tone he sets, Brandt stays close to what he knows best as "Dawn of the Godless Children: NYC" reminds of his previous albums, a fact which is not necessarily a complaint.

B

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