It’s not very often on a first listen I say this but frankly Cascades are a band doing everything right.
Hailing from Fargo, North Dakota, the lads in Cascades completely embody the punk / emo genre and are just a perfect example of an underground band producing top quality material in a genre that can easily become stale and uninteresting.
The first thing you really pick up on when listening to F.Y.B is the passion and the angst that is literally oozing from this EP, Cascades really put everything on the line in these tracks and it’s evident from the first track ‘January ‘19’ which opens the EP with a floating guitar line that builds into a passionate, heartfelt cry resonating fantastically and leading into the hard punching ‘Death Eaters Under My Bed’.
‘Death Eaters’ is one of my personal highlights of the track listing, this track is full to the brim of catchy hooks and memorable lyrics that not only compliment the track but have a really original spin to them making it a really refreshing listen. ‘Death Eaters’ also shows Cascades musicianship and their ability to execute certain instruments to highlight particular sections of the track particularly in the third act of this track where I can really hear the more complicated drum fills clearly.
‘Days Gone (bye)’ and ‘Therapy’ both have a brilliant groovy vibe driven by the bass, drums and choruses that are simply so catchy it will be a staple on any listener. Both songs just have such a vibe and are so easy to get on board with it’s really hard to dislike these tracks at all.
We then reach the title track ‘F.Y.B’ and my first thought when listening to this one was how tight the musicianship in this track really is. There are some solid drum sections with a beautiful guitar melody behind this track the entire way through before reaching the third act of the track and the heaviest section of the EP even if it is only a short one, it just demonstrates even more talent and understanding from these guys.
Finally we reach ‘End Session’ which is easily one of the strongest and most hard hitting tracks on the EP. Lyrically, it feels like the most heavy hearted track on F.Y.B, themes of doubting ones self and questioning decisions made which makes the track so relatable and adds that element of personal touch between the listener and artist. This tied in with the seriously scintillating instrumentals and belting chorus make for such a great listen and of course the spoken element at the end of the track / EP just rounds the whole thing off in a satisfying finale.
F.Y.B is one of the most professional underground releases I’ve heard for a long time, packed full of hard hitting tracks, lyrically and instrumently, that lay a personal message and create a bond between the listener and the artist that gets stronger with each track. Cascades are on their way to big things and in a few short years could be one of the most promising bands in the genre. F.Y.B is bouncy, fun, energetic, angsty and passionate. Fans of Real Friends and Boston Manor you may have just found your new favourite band.
Words by Dylan Booker.