By Jeremy Farkas
This is the music you blast when your significant other breaks your heart or you have the worst date ever. This is adolescent angst at it’s very finest. These three songs of emo revival are earworms for anyone who has ever felt like a piece of trash.
Having exploded onto the scene in October 2016 at a house show and subsequently posting a live video for their song “Broken High School Mascot,” The Mascot EP makes Castlefield Ottawa’s hottest emo band right now.
Singer and guitarist, Ryan Fitz and drummer, Matt Spafford, have been playing in bands over the past few years in the Ottawa scene and co-run The Indie Scene Concert Promotion company. With bassist, Dexter Reid, and lead guitarist, Connor Neilson, they formed Castlefield and began crafting angsty anthems.
The raw energy they ooze can be felt through your headphones with every shout of Fitz’s voice. The guitar licks are swift and frustrated in a very American Football way, but at the heart of every song are delicious, catchy vocal melodies. My favourite track comes second on the EP, “Lifted”. This song sounds like a daydream, digging up feelings of nostalgia that bring tears to your eyes.
The instrumentation on this EP is tight and leaves nothing to be desired. Every song ebbs and flows with stereo panned electric guitars trading melodies seamlessly. The drum and bass remain steady throughout, maintaining the backbone of every song while the vocals and guitars are free to crescendo and decline.
The album cover reflects several themes from the EP. The abandoned children’s cars in front of the parked SUV is the perfect image to encompass the struggles of growing up. The dead trees reflect the feelings of depression and loss that are peppered throughout the lyrics on all three tracks. The artwork is dark and it’s a sneak peek of what’s behind the album sleeve.
Castlefield is playing The Mascot EP release show on Thursday, April 13, at the House Of Targ with fellow locals, Nighttime in Kansas, RATS, Halfsleeper, and Silent Lovers.
You can pick up Castlefield’s The Mascot EP at Vertigo records on cassette/cd or listen on your favourite music app. •