Casey Neill & the Norway Rats light up the night and signal their return with Sending Up Flares. Guest include Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, and Scott McCaughey.
In the raging sea that is music, there are moments when a band's unity and resilience become a beacon of hope. Sending Up Flares, the latest from Casey Neill & the Norway Rats, is that shining signal in the dark. It's a tribute to a group that, in the face of chaos and uncertainty, has rallied together to create their most cohesive and cathartic album to date.
Amidst the turmoil of our times, these songs emerge as a lifeline to a world yearning for equilibrium. They are filled with tales of determination, fortitude, wonder, and the power of positive human connection. On the album, this Portland supergroup effortlessly weaves its musical influences - spanning folk, punk, art-rock, atmospheric soundscapes, guitar virtuosity, and lush string arrangements - into something utterly unique.
But who exactly are the Norway Rats? They are a collective of Pacific Northwest heavyweights, featuring a lineup that includes accordionist/keyboardist extraordinaire Jenny Conlee of the Decemberists, the versatile guitarist/producer Chet Lyster of Eels, bassist Jesse Emerson of Amelia, and the man himself, Casey Neill. This core is further enriched by a cast of guests, including Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney, who lends her voice to the album's first single, "Jumping Out Of My Skin." Neill's one-time Minus 5 cohorts, Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, The Baseball Project) and Peter Buck (R.E.M.) join in for good measure.
Casey Neill & the Norway Rats are a crack team who can move from high-octane, diesel-fueled rave-ups to haunting ballads. They’re perfect for Neill's narratives, which are etched with the marks of weathered storytellers, celebrating the outsiders and exploring the hidden corners of America. Sending Up Flares shows the power of music to illuminate our path in times of darkness and a reminder that, in the hands of the right band, music becomes a beacon, sending out flares of hope and connection to a world that sorely needs it.