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"The idea behind the title is that there is no angel or devil on your shoulder telling you what to do. Turning and finding nothing forces you to guide your own way, make your own decisions and consequently grow more as an individual. Sometimes finding nothing at all is the most imprtant thing you can find" says vocalist TJ Foster. Lyrically, the album chronicles a man who has been hit by a drunk driver and left in a coma. He is floating between life and death, not only questioning his life, his faith and his experiences, but remembering what they felt like. Near the end of the album, the victim wakes up to find the drunk driver in the hospital bed next to him. (DER-526)
"In just six tracks I felt a part of something bigger than me..." - Music Under Fire
"While The Cast Before The Break touch several similar bases to the New Jersey post-hardcore act Thursday, TCBTB have more in common with the post-rock genre. Every track on 'As Your Shoulders Turn On You' seems designed to work just as easily in instrumental form, and yet the lyrics are no afterthought. Their Palahniuk-esque ambivalence of hope and despair flow throughout every single syllable uttered. If vocals are not necessary or integral to the concept of the album, they are simply not used. Even if it results in asymmetrical song structures (such as on opening track 'Onward Love') Indeed, a lot of the album appears oddly structured upon first glance. With the one-two punch of the previously mentioned 'Onward Love' and follow-up 'From the Earth, At a Crossroad' it seems as though the album has peaked too early. But as is the sign with all great albums, as further listens are afforded, moments and songs that priorly passed by unnoticed become the ones you await eagerly, clearly shifting the highlights to the final act. 'From the Earth, At a Crossroad' is perhaps the most immediate. Commencing with a horseback ride to the scene of a 'pistols at dawn' old west duel, things are quickly launched to the present with unlikely yet permanently infectious groove-laden guitar riff which introduces a vocal call-to-feet of 'How we dance! How we sing!'. Not content with this change of pace, the boys give us one of the most breathtaking bridge sections known to mankind which sees the lone flouting of their screaming amnesty. Their restraint throughout the rest of the album makes this moment infinitely more special and capable of penetrating through to even the emotional core of a stone. No stop is left unpulled on this album. Pianos, violins and experimental electronica are inextricably fused to it's spine. Drums, scattered across the horizontal axis of sound, add immensely to the sense of paranoia and claustrophobia which permeates their sound. The central concept of the comatose man haunted by the opposing pull of revenge and love is made all the more resonant and impactive by these flourishes. By the time the spine-tingling instrumental barrage of 'Cerca Trova' (He who seeks, finds) gives way to the lamenting epilogue, it'll be difficult to pick one highlight from the crowd. We were well aware though, that we had just witnessed one of the most impressive and refreshing alternative rock albums since Thursday's 'Full Collapse' and At The Drive-In's 'Relationship of Command'." - Strange Glue
"Outstanding. Beautiful instrumentation in the vein of Explosions in the Sky...truly something special." - Heist Party
"What if Thursday and Moving Mountains had a baby? The Cast Before The Break is the exact and only answer to that question. This album is special. This is that rare album that comes out once a year maybe. As Your Shoulders Turn On You is this year's Pneuma (ref. Moving Mountains). The album starts with 'Onward, Love, ' a six minute mostly instrumental track that sets the tone for the rest of the album moody, atmospheric, but yet carrying an overarching epic feel to each movement in the song. Lyrically explaining that we are our own instruments to destruction, the song leads into 'From The Earth, At A Crossroad, ' arguably the most accessible song on the album. A pacing beat around a floor-tom and snare behind a simple bass line carries a ridiculous amount of intensity up to each chorus. The song is actually about a car accident and everything that surrounds it. I know, tons of songs about accidents, right? Here's what I kept from you: this album is about the narrators last half hour of life as it is played out through the album. Self discovery, loneliness, and revenge are all explored in many different ways, from the mostly acoustic 'Relying On A Respirator ' to the beautiful 'Understanding The Universe. ' So what makes this album so special besides that it is a genius idea for a concept album? From the strained vocals to the unmeasurable passion, the vocals really shine throughout the album. However, there is no better way to say it: this album is strong because the songs are just really well written. Every song is epic. Every song goes from tons of instruments to just a basic piano and percussion arrangement, and yet, nothing feels left behind. The energy is retained. The album carries absolutely no filler within itself, and everything that happens in each song is there for a reason. Nothing feels forced. Nothing feels misplaced. The flow of the sounds is quite simply breathtaking. This is an album that needs to be listened from the beginning to the end, not from the middle. 'As Your Shoulders Turn On You ' will be a contender for one of the top albums of 2008 and may possibly take the crown. There simply is no better way to say it. Whether its the hard hitting ending of 'Cerca Trova ' or the trick ending to 'Understanding The Universe, ' The Cast Before The Break keeps raising the bar song after song during your first listen. Very few albums have left me so impressed on the first listen to name a few, Vheissu, Pneuma, and Transatlanticism were albums that left me with similar impressions. Big things are going to happen to this band. Just wait and watch. [9.4 / 10]" - Music Scene Today
Now with nearly 220 releases in its catalog, fiercely independent Deep Elm Records continues to build a better label - one
that operates for glory, not gold. Deep Elm is about bands and fans coming together as one and experiencing music's awesome ability to inspire, comfort and console. We're not just making music together, we're making history. We are proud to be 100% independent for 20 years....more
We are the instrument in tune with all that's surfacing. In time we'll all be blessed again with all we know. We are the paradigm for elemental pantomime. Our love will conquer anything after we grow
Track Name: From The Earth, At A Crossroad
Chasin' down the demons in a getaway car, stitching an exit wound. They've been lost here for a couple of miles. Casting all their shadows on religious retreats, planning to spend the night. They'll be dead here in a matter of hours. As your shoulders turn on you, you're left with nothing but a spine. And how we dance! And how we sing! They just stop and stare and stop and start the fuckin' riot. An hour has passed, an hour to go. They just stutter speech and speak to spare the new messiah. Chasin' down the angels in their holiday suits demanding enlightenment. It won't be found here - heaven's closed for repairs. The bible tells it stories with a fancy facade, its message cannot compare. I would rather write my own rulebook. As a poet in contempt, I hold myself responsible for all the actions. I have taken in my time here on this earth. And all the victims in disguise are held accountable as such. Instead of fighting their own fate and crossing paths with the judge. Because if Jesus taught you everything then nothing's what you've learned. You could build islands with those hands but they're rejecting what they've earned. And if Jesus told you anything then nothing's what you heard. Your ears both form opinions while your mouth changes the words.
Track Name: Agnosia
Face to face with reality. Everybody I know is gone. A safer place confusing me. Everybody I know is lost. Welcome home. Oh my god, I can see the sky. One life gone, one life benign. Love crossed my mind. Day to day hypocrisy. Everybody I love is gone. A staging grace ideology. Everybody I love is lost. Welcome hope. Oh my god, I can hear the sound. Cautious now, I have lost and I have found. Love saved my life . God willing, come take me home I don't wanna be alone. "Just hold me, just tell me now maybe this time I'll lie with you"
Track Name: Understanding The Universe
Here we are in the middle of a ceasefire. Surrounded by an atmosphere too weak to keep us warm. Here at the center of the universe. We're all the same, no matter what they want us to believe. Slowly, we fade. I remember what it's like to be in love. I remember what it's like to be alone. Here we are at the remnants of a train wreck. That found its way to Earth from some remote uncharted place. And I know exactly why you need me 'cause I feel it too. Oh, do you feel me with you? Slowly, retraced. The sky won't fall until the buildings shake. This is far too heavy for a child to take. The wars won't end until the grown men sing. This is far too heavy for a childish thing. The love won't die until the feelings fade. This is far too heavy for a child to take. The moods won't lift until the people sing. This is far too heavy for a childish thing. (I don't have a day but I am the night. I don't have a sun but we don't need the light. And when they wage these wars we don't need to fight. It's a dying world, but I will hold you tight)
Track Name: Cerca Trova
If I can't save you, I will take away your pain and drown it in the ocean, alone. If love won't swallow, I will tie it down to bed or keep it in my pocket with you. Love, will you wait for me? And I can see this - you are the apple of my eye. The star up in my sky, shooting. And I'm aware that you must look beyond the obvious. To find yourself a purpose or a place to hide. I'm terrified of who I am inside. I'm a broken matchstick man, be my conduit. This lullaby won't lull the boy inside. I'm a traitor to myself, be my old disguise. What have we all become? What's lost is found.
Track Name: Relying On A Respirator
Eulogies sing remarkable praise. My mother can't recognize what's safe beneath this vacant face. I see heaven but it's out of my reach. Floating between the earth and glorified tranquility. How I wish that I could breathe on my own. Machines watch closely over numbers that remain too low. I see hell comin' but it's just not strange enough for me. Reminds me of homeπs four walls and futile possibilities. Why am I dead? Why am I sleeping? I spoke to Jesus and he told me where I'll be when I die. The sky would cave in but it's never looked so bright in my mind. I start to breathe, open my eyes. One taste of oxygen can drive a man insane before long. One flaw of character is deciding when and where to go wrong. I pull the plug and you are gone