Album Review: Replica by Cassia.

Written by Alex Ramsden

How many times has there been The Next Big Thing in music, only to be let down by a flat and flaccid first album that had nothing on the fist-pumping freshness promised?

This is a collection of poppy, calypso-infused gems by the newest obsession in my indie life, Cassia. A little-known band maybe but one that are on the up and up and up with a series of dates to promote Replica, their maiden effort.

Let’s start at the beginning, Small Spaces is a breezy slice of summery mellow-indie. The catchy hook of the chorus and the scratchy vocal blend into a funky and lilting beer garden banger, it has since been added to the Indie List playlist on Spotify so you can deffo find it there. I’m glad I discovered this group because if you don’t know them then you’re missing out.

I wonder if the album’s title is anything to do with Captain Beefheart’s iconic Trout Mask Replica, a crazy concept album released in the boom of the 1970s infatuation with weird and out-there progressive rock. I’m not sure. Anyway, as the album progresses through cheeky sips of an ice-cold cider, burgers sizzling on the hot coals of a rain-ruined barbecue in England, it grows more and more into a record with a real substance.

Loosen Up is just the sort of choooon to get your shoe leather strutting, a delicious delight of dibbling drum and the jangle of a reggae-reggae guitar. Lovely. Listen to it, yourselves and you might understand how difficult it is to describe which is why I’m talking complete balls.

Flick through and we reach the stand-out, in my opinion, track of the record. I have never before taken an instant liking to a sing by an unknown band as I did the first time I heard the bingo bongo boogie of 100 Times Over. Stand up, or straight down. It doesn’t matter. It’s the fizz in the can, the pop of the bubble wrap and the wibble wobble of the jelly and ice cream all rolled into one. A near 3 minute song dedicated to a feel-good vibe, it has easily the best pitter-patter opening I’ve heard since Big Mountain belt out ‘ooooooh baby, I love your way.’

Get Up Tight is the first Cassia song I heard, and what an introduction! From the opening bars, you understand, somehow, deep down that a pulsating pop party is taking place within your soul and there is nothing you can do about it. Of course, after you have got up tight, then you can loosen up. How clever, Cassia have created an album that actively encourages you to play God with the running order.

It’s a pumping group of jumping kicks and thumping bass. A new wave of a new vibe. The sort of album that makes people, like me, foam at the mouth and spout some absolute crap about. But, listen to it.

I’m quite disappointed that Weekender doesn’t make the final cut as I believe it’s a stronger track than DreamA, the conclusion of the whirlwind.

The bullet point to this juggernaut of jaunty japes is that after listening to it through for the first time, I cannot see how you could ever ignore it again.

Loads to explore.