the Casket Lottery -
"Survival Is For Cowards"
Let me just say that, first of all, The Casket Lottery can create
amazing sounds with just drums, bass, and guitar. With those three
instruments (and a little help from Ed Rose on accessory percussion),
the band is able to craft soundscapes that ebb and flow with energy and
frequently explode into cathartic screams.
Survival Is For Cowards’
opening track, “Code Red” is the perfect example of that sonic formula.
The songs starts out with laconic drums that are intertwined with
bursts of guitar chords until the vocals explode, screaming “code red!”
This formula is repeated to great success throughout the entire album,
with varying degrees of volume as the tracks progress. I’m not saying
all the tracks are the same – no, not at all.
As a matter of fact, it seems that the songs are divided into three
types. There are songs such as “Sick,” where the vocals take
precedence; “What I Built Last Night,” where the guitar takes the lead;
and “Code Red,” where the bass is the prevalent instrument. The drums
are very much in effect throughout all the songs, and provide the glue
that ties all the elements together.
The lyrics are almost a cathartic release to listen to, with pop hooks
buried within the screamed and tortured vocals. Every song is a
potential sing-along, and contains at least one line worthy of
This is a fine release from The Casket Lottery, and the band’s live
shows do the songs even more justice than the album. However, Survival Is For Cowards is perhaps
the first local album to ever come close to accurately capturing any
band’s live energy in a recording. The sound is dense and layered, but
easily accessible to the listener. It’s tense and passionate, music
more suited to being screamed alone than shared with friends. Survival Is For Cowards is not
without its hooks and melodies, but doesn’t sacrifice passion for them.
This is an album that is well worth your time.