Album Review: Casablanca – Miskatonic Graffiti

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Casablanca.MiskatonicI like lists. In fact, I love lists. I keep lists for everything. Top 10’s, best of’s, bucket lists and must see’s. On my list of “Euro Must See” bands is one from Sweden called Casablanca.

This entry to my list was acquired from loving their first two CD’s – 2012’s Apocalyptic Youth and 2013’s Riding the Black Swan. So when given the opportunity to review their latest CD Miskatonic Graffiti, I jumped at the chance.

Casablanca consists of Anders Ljung on Vocals, Erik Almstrom on Guitars, Mats Rubarth on Bass, and Josephine Forsman on Drums. Additional artists on guitars include Ryan Roxie and Erik Stenemo.

When I went into this CD I knew I had a couple hills to climb first. I am NOT a fan of concept albums nor am I a fan of overlong songs – both of which reside here. But my mind and ears were wide open.

So here goes:

  1. “Enter the Mountains” – the start of the theme and a song that clocks in at over 10 minutes long. Surprisingly this song retains a flow and does not lose me. A very haunting yet catchy verse “at the mountains, baby the mountains” – love it – ok you still have my attention.
  2. “Closer” – a straight ahead rocker with a touch of keyboards – an early favourite!
  3. “This is Tomorrow” – a funky groove with some strong vocals from Anders ala Chris Huhn from Victory sounding to me.
  4. “My Shadow Out of Time” – a slow moving rocker with some real heaviness to it and a knockout chorus. Solid track.
  5. “Old Money” – the first song so far that put me right back onto the previous two albums. A nice clean guitar solo caught between yet another catchy chorus.
  6. “Sister” – a toned down rocker with a real Tom Petty feel. Just doesn’t do it for me.Casablanca promo
  7. “Name Rank Serial Killer” – a good fast rocking tune with strong vocals and some decent slide guitar work from Erik.
  8. “Miskatonic Graffiti” – the title track has a more poppy feel but works well. Another fabulous chorus has just been registered in my ears.
  9. “She was the One” – the ballad of the album which displays Anders‘ awesome vocal range with a crisp guitar solo just way I like them.
  10. “Exit the Mountains” – I expected this to be a reprise of song 1 but it is a song of its own. Another longer tune with a real rock feel. A good way to finish off the concept.

I have to admit it took a few spins to really get the flow and feel for what I felt was a bit of a turn for Casablanca. It might take a few more spins to put it ahead of Riding the Black Swan but still a solid release. Give it a chance and those choruses’ will be stuck in your head leaving you wanting more. 7.5/10

Brian Ronald

BUY: Casablanca – Miskatonic Graffiti

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