“In the Branches”
After a five-year run as a full-time band from 1998 to 2003, Kansas City indie-rock trio The Casket Lottery was able to look back on three standout full-lengths and a handful of EPs. Come 2006, the perpetually underrated band had adopted the same attitude as fellow Kansas City notable Coalesce — which shares The Casket Lottery’s Nathan Ellis and Nathan Richardson — by lying low and working on other projects, but never officially breaking up. Flash forward to 2012 and The Casket Lottery has magically reappeared with two more members — Brent Windler on second guitar and Nick Siegel on keys — and a new full-length album, Real Fear.
Siegel, in particular, adds a new layer with his minor-key melodies. The songs are as well written and catchy as ever — all in the band’s morose-but-hopeful and slightly vengeful tone. Dynamics have always played a part in The Casket Lottery, with tension building to release numerous times over the course of an album and sing-along-ready lyrics built into its multiple-vocalist approach. Real Fear is just as dynamic, if not more so, and that’s as the band only begins to refine its new sound.