** Casiotone For The Painfully Alone** – better known to the “mom and dad” of his latest single as Owen Ashworth – specialise/s in making computerised, beat-driven music to have hair dryers and fridge-freezers weeping like the most emotionally fragile aunt at a distant relative’s funeral. While the pulse of his backing track speeds up, adrenaline coursing through circuitry like brake fluid to the wheels of a chicane-bound Ferrari, Ashworth deadpans furiously: he never sings, really, but the emotion in his voice is so heavy, so sincere, that his whisper could surely have statuesque, shield-bearing guardians of solid steel shedding mercury tears.
The shields in question here are those invisible ones that those who chose not to accept that they really can’t go through life doing whatever they like seem to hold so high, brandishing them recklessly and without consideration for the effect on others. So you hate your job, quit it, but then what? Rely on friends? Family? Ashworth says poignantly: “Send a letter to mom and dad, say ‘Mom and dad the money’s running out’”. But nothing comes his way. He’s on his own. Time to wake up. The shock’s delivered wonderfully; mechanical clicks and drones soundtracking the slow opening of eyes to a harsh reality superbly.
B-sides include a Prince cover (‘When You Were Mine’) and two reworkings of older songs; taking those into account, this isn’t only a great curtain-raising single for the forthcoming Etiquette album, but also an EP worthy of purchase alongside its long-playing parent.
7Mike Diver's Score