Album Review: Case Sensitive – “Count Your Blessings”

Album Review: Case Sensitive, Count Your Blessings (Debut)

I first encountered Case Sensitive at their release party at The Station in Carrboro on a Friday in February. The night’s lineup included the newly formed Honey Duchess (and their crunchy punk tunes), and Chapel Hill’s Cosmic Punk (and their spirited indie rock vibe). Following those outstanding opening sets, the 3-piece all-female indie rock band Case Sensitive took the stage and performed their two-sided single, Count Your Blessings, among other songs. Sporting all black attire and a sparkly youthful glow, Case Sensitive put on a highly energetic and wonderfully charismatic performance. Twas an impressive night and I tip my hat to The Station for putting together such a fantastic bill of local talent.

Case Sensitive’s debut two-sided single kicks off with the reverb of an electric guitar and the haunting female vocals of the title track. The drums make their debut a few moments later bringing the song into form. In what I would describe as a semi-nihilistic anthem of self-motivation, “Count Your Blessings” is a nod to the mundanity of daily routine, the seemingly lethargic repetition of “face the day and get up out of bed,” as so aptly stated. This track also captures a sense of self-awareness in that “the only voices that can stop me are the voices inside my head”an acknowledgement of the limitations people place on themselves. This sentiment undoubtedly creates a sense of loneliness, well-captured in this song: “I’m alone in my house in my underwear in the velvet night.” Case Sensitive’s title track speaks to the lonely soul inside of so many people, calls it out, and brings it into the light with truthful tact and an ethereal sound.

The second single on this two-sided release is a much different sort of song. “Six Feet” kicks off with a drone-like ambience, a heaviness like the weight of the ground when buried six feet under while still alive. At several points in this song, the heavy guitar riffs seemed reminiscent of early stoner rock. Now, don’t get me wrong, I dig the song; I dig heavy, especially when juxtaposed with abrupt high-note vocals, creating a sense of eeriness while still being beautiful. Unlike the first track, “Six Feet” is very much a rock song, steeped in a visceral but guarded anger, which culminates in the final 30 seconds with a screeching noise-punk outburst.

Case Sensitive is indeed a promising act. Not only was their live performance spunky and entertaining, but their sound is cohesive; they have chemistry, both on stage and on record. What’s more, they are an all-female rock band in a genre vastly dominated by men. I look forward to hearing more of them and it is my hope that they continue to play live and record music. They are very much worth the listen.

Local Shows: “Local Band Local Beer” Jan. 19, 2017

Local Band Local Beer: January 19, 2017
at The Pour House, Raleigh
Featured Bands:
The Blue Footed Boobies
Milagro Saints
Debonzo Brothers

Before every show I cover, I like to gather my thoughts, loosen up my pen, and remove a layer of inhibition at some local dive. Last Thursday, it was Calavera, which is not exactly a dive, but I had my heart set on some empanadas and tequila blanco. Only a few blocks from the venue, I figured, fuck it, I’ll splurge a little. As usual, Calavera did not disappoint.

Belly full and cheeks rosy, I wandered over to The Pour House around 9:30PM to catch the weekly local showcase, “Local Band Local Beer.” As I approached the venue, I could hear the raw vibrations of the first act emanating from inside. Ah yes, The Blue Footed Boobies, a blues rock duo from the North Carolina coast. I dropped my $5 and headed in, drawn by the Hendrix-inspired roar of the electric guitar. When I stepped through the door, I set my eyes upon the stage where I saw a tall, long-haired guitar player adorned in a floral pattern shirt, accompanied by a heavily bearded and lively drummer.

The chemistry between the duo was apparent. Seamlessly moving between original raw blues from their self-titled album released last Fall, and a few choice coversincluding one of my favorite Beatles songs, “Don’t Let Me Down”the band captured me so fully that I abandoned my notebook, stepped out onto the dance floor, and shed myself of my journalist veil, dancing, dancing, dancing… The Wilmington duo ended their set with a cover of “Wild Thing,” which sparked a small but present moshpit—young punks having a good time. Riled and hungry for more, the crowd started chanting “One more song” over and over, as the projector screen descended from the ceiling and covered the stage. Unfortunately, their efforts were unrewarded and they filtered outside to the cigarette den in the alley. Twas an anticlimactic finish to the best set of the night.

Between sets I did my in the heat of the moment scribbling, and knocked out a quick beer review. I was in a content-driven mood that night. Halfway through the mediocre smoked brown ale I regretfully ordered, the second act, Milagro Saints, came to the stage. In my pre-show research, I listened to some of their tunes and held out hope that the six-man multi-instrumentalist band would put on a good set. They certainly sounded like they had potential in their ultra-folksy jam-style blues. However, that hope quickly faded into disappointment.

The younger crowd who had so fervently participated in the first set now lingered by the bar or fled to the cigarette den, while a more middle-aged audience crept to the front of the stage. Even their ranks were a bit thin. Sporting a sound similar to a Grateful Dead cover band, Milagro Saints sounded a bit too dated for me. Bottom line: there was too much going on between the six of them that no cohesive sound emerged.

By the time their set was over, I had chugged my mediocre beer and went to seek out the first act to give them my congratulations on a fine set. I found them outside mingling with some young ladies. Following a cordial handshake, I tipped my hat and ambled back to the little corner where I rest my head.