Here’s The Thing is the latest fiery elegantly raw album by Chicago rock band Eve Casino. This is their debut album and runs for about forty minutes. The band consists of Ryan “Haggy” Hegarty on bass and vocals, Marco Obaya on lead guitar and vocals, Sam Skilnik on rhythm guitar, keys, and vocals, and Chris Taylor on drums and percussion. While the band is open to a range of sounds and doesn’t want to be limited to genres, they have their roots in psychedelia, the blues, and punk. They have been completed to Weezer and The Doors, but we can hear the entire spectrum of the classic rock legacy in their sound from Eric Clapton to Jimi Hendrix. While rooted in the tradition of rock, they forge their own independent sound filled with charisma and feel.
The album begins with the song Hotter. With a wah-wah-drenched intro which sounds very tasty, there’s a looseness to the drumming. We get a nice mid-range trebly lead guitar lick which moves to a rock buildup as the vocal verses enter. There is an almost reggae-like vocal delivery with the bass coming in making the sound really heavy. The second song is Before I Hit The Ground. Here we note that these boys sure know how to make banger intro riffs that keep you hooked into the song from the beginning. A brief guitar solo with a pristine tone in the middle. Sweet wah drenched outro solo with the main riff playing in the back. Eve Casino makes a mark!
Blues Whip is a classic blues rock song that reminds you of Cream, Led Zeppelin, and the greats of the era. Stunning riffs and the verses end on a vocal scream in the blues style followed by awesome blues rock guitar shredding. With Abercrombie Zombie, we move from the rock-heavy sound to calm acoustics. This is an acoustic rock track. Love the subtle backup vocals in the chorus. Can easily imagine this as a full-fledged rock track with a big arrangement. However, the stripped-down arrangement ensures dynamics in the track flow of the album. Fifty Buck Billy is a proper electric blues song. We also get a southern rock feel on this song with the lyrics and vocal delivery.
Short Circuit is a rock ballad that has clean guitars in the intro with a touch of wah. Love the drum fills which pull out the snare and kick at the end of every phrase. The gritty emotional vocal delivery is a treat to hear. Little Gypsy Queen is a fun rock song with drums laid on top of electric guitars and clean guitars. It feels like a party song with its neat fast catchy rhythm. Summertime Dreamin’ reminds me of Duane Allman and Jessica. It begins with a laid-back sound and then moves into a grand outro to aptly conclude the album.
The guitar leads, solos, licks, and riffs are incredibly well-phrased, full of character, and stunning in their ability to create stories. From mega-blazing solos to old-school endless improvisations. The recording of the album is also very organic in its sound. The loose drum sound and playing also lend to that feel. In an era of clinically over-produced music, this is a breath of good old-fashioned air. This music is rooted in the classic rock sound, the best days of hard rock. This is a genuine classic rock that you will truly enjoy. Eve Casino with Here’s The Thing sculpts solid gold songwriting.
We get to speak to Chris from the band to get to know more about Eve casino and the album.
1. Really really enjoyed the album! For starters, how was the band formed and the story behind the name?
Well I happened to meet Sam, our rhythm guitarist, one night after a party. It so happened to be his birthday that night, actually. We talked for a while about music, smoked a little bit, and realized we both play instruments. We’ve been playing ever since. But the name was mostly Sam’s idea. He came up with it after watching the movie Leaving Las Vegas. We all do play a lot of Texas Hold ‘Em though, so it only made sense.
2. We can hear your influences from Cream, Hendrix, Zeppelin, The Doors, etc. What’re the drumming, bass, and guitar influences of every member in terms of playing?
For me, as the drummer, my influences come from a lot of 80’s arena rock artists.. like Extreme, Van Halen, Joe Satriani… There’s also a lot of grungier 90’s artists that speak to me, like Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and even the Chili Peppers. But on the other side of things, I’ve also been influenced by a ton of reggae acts like Slightly Stoopid, Bob Marley, and Stick Figure. The list really goes on and on. As far as the rest of the band goes – Marco, our lead guitarist, pulls from a lot of blues and metal. He listens to anything from Muddy Waters to more modern bands like Polyphia, and a lot of super intricate stuff in between. He really likes technical artists. Haggy, our bass player and singer, likes a lot of jam bands. So you could probably find him listening to Goose, The Grateful Dead, or Dogs in a Pile on most days. The man loves his trippy sounds. And then Sam, our rhythm guitarist who also sings, likes a lot of poppier music, so he’s usually jamming some blink-182 or New Order or something like that.
3. You have some stunning tasty tones not only for guitars but drums and bass as well, could you please describe your gear?
I have a tobacco burst 5-piece limited DW series with all Zildjian A cymbals. But kinda funny, my crash is actually a hi-hat top.. I just enjoy the sound I get from it. I also use a double-kick DW 5000 series. I do enjoy my triplets!
4. So in modern music dominated by heavily pop influenced and lighter forms of music, how did you guys come to fresh music rooted in classic rock?
Personally, I like to thank my father for that. He was the biggest music influence for me. He was an active bass player at his school in the 80’s and showed me his ways as I grew up. I remember being little and not being able to sleep, so he would just blast music in the car and drive me through neighborhoods until I would eventually pass out.
5. I can hear plenty of instrumental improvisation with plenty of effort in terms of the apt flow for the songwriting. How was the journey to composing and songwriting the record?
I don’t really know man, it just all came from the heart. I wish I had a better answer for this but everything just happens to fit like a glove, you know?! Most of our songs just start with us four grooving on a guitar riff or bass line that someone comes up with, and then if it sticks, it sticks. Someone will eventually go home and write lyrics to it and it just grows from there. We record all of our practices, which helps a lot with making these ideas come to life.
6. The album has a great live recording, which is great and organic to hear in an era of sterile production. What was the album recording process like?
Oh, it was a lot of fun. But blood, sweat, and tears were put into it for sure. A lot of beers and a lot of long nights. We usually would record the songs as full band live takes, and then go in later and overdub or redo the vocals and guitars where we needed. We wanted to really capture our natural groove like they used to do back in the day. That’s why it sounds live, because a lot of it is! I don’t think we used a metronome on the whole album, just all feel. We love how it all came out!
7. What is in store for promoting the album in terms of gigs and further music for that matter?
Sky’s the limit baby! We’re definitely not stopping for anything at this point. We’re going to continue to make more music this year and continue to play more shows. We are excited to see where things go from here. It’s going to be a lot of hard work but we are willing to do whatever it takes and we have a lot of amazing things already lined up that we can’t announce just yet. But we have another batch of new songs in the works & you will be hearing some of that this year, So there’s definitely more to come if you liked this album. We’re just trying to make music that sounds the way music makes us feel!