Album Reviews

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone – Town Topic EP

(Tomlab) UK release date: 22 September 2008


Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - Town Topic EP Weighing in at a little over 22 minutes, but with no less than 15 songs, the latest EP from Casiotone For The Painfully Alone is an intriguing affair.

A combination of new material andre-worked songs from previous albums, it opens with the track Ice Cream Truck, which Owen Ashworth, the band’s sole member, has been previewing at live shows during the course of this year. As the name implies, it features a melodic chime which wouldn’t be out of place in the presence of Mr Whippy.

Indeed, the whole EP has a rather hazy, playful, and at times gentle feel to it – almost dreamlike, in fact. There are a succession of instrumentals, including slowed-down reinterpretations of I Love Creedence and Nashville Parthenon, both of which originally featured on the album Etiquette (2006). New track Lesley Gore On The Tami Show also bops along in a jaunty, wordless way.

The tweaking and tinkering of past material continues with Twinkle Echo (Reverse) doing exactly what it says on the tin, taking the title track from his 2003 album and playing it backwards. He’s just that zany!It’s also given an extended right-way-round treatment in the Echo (Redux) version, a little later on.

There’s a distinct change of tack with I Like Common, which is replete with throbbing bass, and this continues through the next four tracks, which all hover around the 30 second mark. These aren’t terribly satisfactory, as they stand – they feel as if they’re just getting started, before abruptly finishing.

OMG would be particularly interesting to hear in an extended version, as it is a clear nod to Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, that contains a Popcorn-style effect from Enola Gay. Things are rounded off with Green Cotton Sweater(Version), which is drenched in distortion, but when stripped of thiswould otherwise be a ballad.

All in all, it’s a rather lovely little EP featuring Pallett’s trademark Casiotone-playing wizardry, which will hopefully give rise to bigger and better versions of the delightful musical nuggets contained herein.


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