This is a review of "We Are A Unit" recorded by Castrovalva. The review was written by Curtis Elvidge in 2010.
Castrovalva are a Leeds based power trio specialising in bass driven rock. Their debut 'We Are A Unit' is soon to be released on Brew.
Off-kilter low end grooves are their thing and most of their songs fall just shy of two minutes. Bassist and vocalist Anthony Wright and drummer Daniel Brader waste no time and state their intentions clearly with a driving half time riff on the opening track. The bass has been heavily tampered with, but the effects don't give the band the full sound that a larger line up would.
The dual vocalists (Leemun Smith completes the line up) are really quite all over the place, one second squealing melodies in a falsetto that a sane man wouldn't attempt, then just shouting through the rest of the song, almost rapping in some sections. There is definitely a large influence from Sikth in the vocal department. The melodies themselves are fairly sub-standard and there's certainly nothing that sticks in your head. Lyrics seem to be fairly silly, which is fine for a while, but quickly grates when delivered in the dumb shout most songs resort to.
The band, to their credit, do try and break the monotony in what would otherwise be a very annoying album, and show they have some good ideas. 'Unit Radio' skips through genres between attacks of static and as it's something of a joke track, it's fairly embarrassing to note that this track contains more promise than the rest of the songs put together. Elsewhere, 'We Don't Go To Ravenholm' and 'Outlawz' are two Hella influenced tunes that take a less obvious approach, and I can imagine them going down well live.