Cassino - Sounds of Salvation
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: March 29, 2007
Since their inception, fans of Tyler Odom and Nick Torres have waited patiently for Sounds of Salvation, the ambitious and honest debut from these two defunct members of everyone’s old favorite band, Northstar. At Northstar’s final show, Nick said something like, “We’re going to play our songs acoustic because that’s how we wrote them and that’s how they were meant to be.” I think I finally understand what he meant.
Nick’s gift for lyrics isn’t a secret and neither is his distinctive voice. In my opinion, his voice sounds much better over the softer, more resolute arrangements found on Sounds of Salvation, than it did over the loud, fierce distorted guitars of any Northstar CD. The fact is, no matter how much hype Cassino has gotten from its small cult following, you really have to listen to understand. This album is like if Straylight Run took its vengeful hindsight anthems and turned them into gorgeous, acoustic declarations of peace. Each song offers a fresh start, and the original lyrics keep this album interesting with every listen. I think we finally get it.
Standout tracks for me are “Governor,” the opening track and arguably the most beautiful, “New Jerusalem,” a rerecording of the demo equipped with hors, drums, and a sing-along chorus, and “Ice Factory,” a charming piano-based ending that leaves a smile on the listeners face. However, when I say standout track, what I mean is the standout track this week. Every song on this CD has something to offer, a story to tell. My only complaint would be the instrumental track “Dust Went Flying,” mainly because after a first listen, there’s really no need to listen again. The other demos turned out great, with a new introduction to “Platano,” and added production to “The Gin War” and “American Low.”
If you’re wondering if this CD is worth the seventeen dollars to buy it on their website, I would say it absolutely is. If you are looking for a quiet, moving, stunning marriage between instrumentation and melody, this is it. All hype aside, this CD will stand out this year. If we don’t appreciate the talent clearly on display on Sounds of Salvation, then we don’t deserve music like this.