RELEASE: Welcome The Ironists (2014)
REVIEWER: Riz Farooqi of King Ly Chee
FIND MORE INFO HERE:
Final Rating: 100/10
Let’s start with how I got my hands on this release…my band was on tour and we showed up at the Manila stop and was handed this record to me by Chi, the bassist of Typecast, a very good friend of mine. He said “You HAVE to check out this band…”
Fast forward to two weeks after tour ended and I’m sitting back at home. I receive an email from Caracal’s own band member Martin submitting news about his amazing band…it was for the music video found below. Up to this point I still hadn’t taken the CD out so I hadn’t heard Caracal yet but when Martin sent me the video and I pressed play, I sat back in extreme awe. I raced over to that stack of CD’s and grabbed the Caracal record and put it into my CD player immediately…
That’s the story of my Caracal journey…the journey that has led me to become a lifelong fan of this band for SURE.
The heart of the band speaks for itself above – I greatly appreciate and admire bands who handle their business themselves. A band that is of this IMMENSE quality no doubt should have minders helping them with every little mundane task such as contacting media outlets to promote their release, but they’re doing it themselves. So in my eyes this band already has WIN written all over it…
But goddamn…the music. At the end of the day it’s all about the music…
This record from start to finish explodes with life. This record from the first note to the last displays huge musical talent from each member. The transitions, the minute touch and difference of when they go from explosively loud sections to the quiet more thought-provoking parts. The riffs don’t even hark back to any other type of band I’ve heard before…this band is certainly on par with bands like Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, Typecast, Love Me Butch…the standard is THAT high on this release.
The vocals? Give me a break – KC is a bonafide rockstar in the making. This guy can sing. Hands down one of the best singers I’ve heard in an Asian band…I can’t even compare his vocal stylings to anyone else but if gun to my head I would compare him to a MUCH better version of Taking Back Sunday (except that KC can actually sing in tune and there seems to be a lot more sincerity in his singing and expression of the words that come out of his mouth). Lyrically and in terms of the rhythmic delivery of his vocals on this release, is hugely inspirational to me as a singer – the way the words are put together to both compliment the melody but also the rhythm and pace of the music is mindbogglingly perfect. I’m taking lessons by listening to this record over and over.
The ten songs on this release, their second full length, is packed with magical moments of some of the most intricate yet powerful indie-rock this side of the world, in fact, of any side of the world. One of my favorites is Naga – the opening pattern into that melody on the guitar and then switching into a verse all within seconds!? Forget about it…to any actual fan of music and musicianship, this band will leave you speechless over and over again. I’m on my fifth listen of this record now and still discovering more details that I had not heard the first few times around.
Here’s a video of the drummer recording this particular song:
The artwork? The album comes with a beautiful little CD booklet stacked with moving photography of every day Singaporean life. As someone from Hong Kong I have to say that any ONE of these photos could be life in Hong Kong! The similarities between Singapore and Hong Kong are insane…The photography comes from three Singaporean photographers who are also synonymous with Singapore musical events: Aloysius Lim, Melvin Ong, Rueven Tan and the photos they submitted for this artwork display a whole different side of their talent.
I don’t know what else to say…this is beyond a stellar release by any band anywhere on this planet. I cannot recommend this album enough to anyone anywhere. Keep your eye out for this band…there is NO reason that this band should not be taking over the world – if they were in the US, they would be enormous and future bands would be name-dropping them as an influence.
Yes, if you live outside of Singapore and Asia for that matter, you can purchase the digital version of their album right from their bandcamp below. You can also go to these links to get the physical copy:
This band rules – get on it.