August 17, 2010 - Tiny Engines
Chicago's Castevet are one of a bevy of young bands who quite obviously grew up in venues like the Fireside Bowl, taking in sets by halfway-forgotten Midwestern emo icons like Braid, Blake and Ethel Meserve. The sound of that mid-'90s era permeates this quartet's work, from the herky-jerky rhythms to swirling guitar lines that wend around each other like threads in a sweater. Were it not for the agonized vocals of bassist Ron Petzke and guitarist Nick Wakim, this could easily be marketed as a lost classic found in Jade Tree’s vaults. But it is with something as simple as the singing that Castevet distinguish themselves as a band. The juxtaposition of the throat-shredding wails that feel better suited for a hardcore-punk act placed alongside the earnest swell of the jangly music is downright bracing and commands your attention. Much more so than if they aimed for sweeter tones to match up with lyrics that mine childhood wrongs and the stumblings of the heart for emotional effect.