Hailing from Corona in Southern California, Casual Friday are a refreshing five-piece power pop-punk outlet.
The band’s first full length album ‘Weekend Forever’ has been three years in the making, during those years the band have found a distinctive sound, taking influences from original pop-punk classics and fusing them with a modern West Coast twist.
Over the course of ten album tracks Casual Friday take us through traditional teenage twenty-something emotive themes with thick skilled riffs and mosh pit ready breakdowns. The dual lead vocals give the band a memorable edge; there’s a great complimentary nature between the twanging accents, with the sprinkling of throaty screams over the album giving a light nod in the direction of A Day To Remember.
The influence of Weezer on this band is undeniable, and that’s no bad thing. Where plenty of newer power pop outfits seem to be merging into one aggravated repetitive noise Casual Friday have a pleasantly traditional, thoughtful sense to their sound.
At 1:51 seconds ‘Direct Deposit’ is the shortest track on the album, and it bubbles in animosity. The opening few seconds almost fool you into believing the upcoming track will be a sad-boy serenade, but with an intense kick of percussion and a snarling vocal the song breaks into nonchalant anger territory, and thrives there. Though the lyrics are sparse it’s the sudden hit of complex guitar solos and riffs which give the track a final layer of emotion.
I’m exceedingly partial to self-depreciating messily delivered lyricism and ‘Fomo’ hits that DIY influenced spot perfectly. Though the notion of the lyrical context isn’t anything we haven’t heard before, it’s the delivery over the drawling bass fuelled beat that gives the track an edge of honesty.
Alongside the powerful tones, Casual Friday also have a sunnier, surfer punk infusion to a few tracks (reminiscent of fellow West Coasters’ FIDLAR). ‘Heavy Blinders’ and my album highlight ‘California’ both leave behind the pent-up frustration to make way for a slightly softer sound. ‘California’ layers more complicated irregular melodies and vocals comfortably over each other with ease, using a trail of smart and original lyrical metaphors.
The album’s title track ‘Weekend Forever’, combines an array of typical pop-punk clichés and dusts them with DIY delivery (not dissimilar to Tiny Moving Parts). The consequence is that instead of becoming a rushed high octane middle-finger-to-the-world anthem, it formulates into a genuine party in a basement.
As an album ‘Weekend Forever’ is like viewing modern pop-punk through nostalgia tinted spectacles. The tracks evoke images of bouncing mosh pits, long summer drives and messy party montages. Unlike many recent power punk efforts, despite the pretence of the genre, there’s a distinctively mature sound to Casual Friday – though this release may be their first full length it’s no infantile feat. There’s a feeling that this band has a goal, and their effort on ‘Weekend Forever’ clearly shines through. The intent and delivery across the album is assured and confident, forging tracks that could resonate with plenty of audiences.