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MP3 Cassavettes - It's Gonna Change

"By taking the Beatles'' ''Revolver''-stomp to the saloon and getting it high on jazz in the backroom...Cassavettes mosey away from the same old tear-in-my-beer twang and provide an alternative to alternative-country (Alt-alt-country?)."
-Boston Metro

11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Roots Rock, ROCK: Americana


"Charm to spare." Cassavettes "hangs fragile melodies, gloomy strings, and casually chiming guitar figures over a series of lived-in acoustic shuffles, swampy open-road stompers, and broken-down breakdowns."
-Luke O''Neil, Boston Globe, CD Pick of the Week (December 2006)

Cassavettes has a "talent for playing scratchy indie folk-rock tunes with Texas-size harmonies and complex arrangements."
-Kerry Purcell, Boston Herald

"Deeply-rooted rock with big nasty teeth is the specialty of Cassavettes." On this record, the band has "wrestled a mix of influences from the Band to the Byrds to the MC5 into their own contemporary distillation."
-Will Spitz, The Phoenix

"The music is tight and poppy, rooted in good ole ass kickin’ rock ’n’ roll. The riffs are off-kilter enough so that while it’s radio friendly, it’s not TOO radio friendly — like an Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, and Mojo Nixon love child."
-Kier Byrnes, The Noise Magazine

The cryptic album title to Boston Americana/folk-rock group Cassavettes first full-length, "It''s Gonna Change," immediately raises questions.

Well, mostly: What''s gonna change?

But after listening song by song, the answer becomes a bit less enigmatic. "It''s Gonna Change" is an album filled with metaphors of growth and indecision, love lost and found, and the persistence of time. All the while, it keeps an eye toward history and its vulnerability to be rewritten or forgotten.

For an example of the depth of loss the album explores, follow the trance-inducing country guitar hook in the opening track, "The Nadir," to the first line and listen closely: "I remember the moment my dream died." The song recalls a true story of being caught in the most difficult of decisions, having to choose between advancing a career in the press or compromising the happiness of a family mourning over the sudden loss of their only son. It climaxes with the powerful line: "A man can''t plan his legacy/ His course is blind but he follows it/ When my path comes to its end/ I just want to be content with what I did."

On the dynamic falling-out-of-love ballad "Trouble From The Start" the group paints a powerful scene in the opening image: "Somebody''s got to swing for this/ Nobody leaves this house tonight unharmed." Anyone who''s held onto a relationship longer than their better sense told them they should can relate to the song''s overlying theme: "We should have known it all along/ It was trouble from the start."

On the catchy first single, "On Our Own," and the album''s boiling closer, "Shine A Light," the band explores the relationship between the political and the personal. In "Shine A Light," the group creates a powerful bipartisan message over an angry guitar riff a la Neil Young: "You know we all bleed the same," before concluding, "If it''s always the lesser of two evils, who can we trust to lead us?"

It''s these broad yet intimate themes that make "It’s Gonna Change" a dramatic step in the band’s maturity, surpassing the unexpected success of the group''s debut EP, "Whitewash The Blues" (2005). Although the album drives home how temporary matters are -- apt to "change" -- its songcraft and widespread themes make it record with a timeless quality.

Recorded at Cambridge’s legendary Hi-N-Dry studio and primarily cut live, the album has a warmth and familiarity uncommon to most modern music. Equal parts folk, rock, and jangly-twang-pop, the record has been accumulating quite the buzz.

The week of the disc''s release, The Boston Globe named it the CD Pick of the Week and said the record has "charm to spare" as the band "hangs fragile melodies, gloomy strings, and casually chiming guitar figures over a series of lived-in acoustic shuffles, swampy open-road stompers, and broken-down breakdowns."

Comprised of three Texan expatriates and a native Bostonian, the Americana/folk-rock group Cassavettes weaves a diverse web of influences: from the ragged twang of Neil Young’s "Harvest" to the rich harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel’s "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Critics have yet to label the group''s sound – and that’s exactly how the band likes it.

In just over a year, Cassavettes has turned more than a few heads – scooping up “Best Local Band” in the 2006 Boston Phoenix reader’s poll, winning the 2006 Northeastern Battle Of The Bands, and nabbing a 2006 Boston Music Award nod for “Outstanding Americana Act Of The Year.” On the heels of a successful showcase at the 2006 NEMO conference, the band is quickly gaining an enthusiastic following and creating waves that extend far beyond Boston.

The group has dug its talons into the local Boston scene, while voraciously toured New England, the east coast and back to Texas. Meanwhile, they have sold albums worldwide. With the release of "It''s Gonna Change," expectations are high for even greater success.

With sturdy and compelling songs, meticulous storytelling, and a bit of southern charm, Cassavettes’ "It’s Gonna Change" is a step out of the ordinary and into the right direction.

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