Indie Rock Cafe Blog "Best DIY and Indie Rock of 2016, Vol. IV" write up:
Delivering eclectic and thunderous heavy rock sounds, powerful vocals and dark, dystopian lyrics, Brooklyn hard rock trio Castle Black’s new cinematic video – “Dark Light: A Plague Revisited” – is something to behold as far as music videos go.
“The song is essentially a song about cycles, kind of a dual story, equally applicable to relationships as well as to societal issues,” lead vocalist and guitarist Leigh Celent says. Celent is backed up by the talented bassist and vocalist Lisa Low and the powerful drummer Matthew Bronner.
“The whole idea is of the opposing forces – dark and light – coming in and out of one’s life,” Celent says.
“The parallel meaning of the song is being really unhappy with the state of affairs in society, breaking it down, trying to make it work for you and then completely destroying it all, trying to build something better.”
The video is the official video for the single from the band’s recently dropped sophomore EP, Losing Forever.
Castle Black’s sound is an inventive and stimulating mixture of genres, including classic rock, alt. rock, punk, post punk and grunge. The infusion of various genres also makes Castle Black’s style one of a kind.
Another new audio-only single, “Premonition,” is a perfect example of the band’s genre-bending talents. On this track, the band morphs into an indie pop/post-punk outfit, ripping out a hookalicious, melody-laden summertime track, complete with choruses containing the lyrics: “it was the summm-mer.” The track can grow on you.
“We’re not interested in being pinned down to a genre,” Celent says. “In fact, we specifically avoid that.”
The trio have been described as ‘the kind of band you want to catch on the way up’ (New York Music Daily), and compared to ‘hard-hitting beats reminiscent of Hole’s best songs,’ (Indiemunity) with Musically Fresh complimented the band for ‘capturing the NY sound with a subdued, crunchy garage-band sound with a slight L-7-esque edge to their own concoction.’
The band performs live regularly in New York City, the New Jersey shore, and the mid-Atlantic. Their songs have been played on both domestic and international radio shows, including Banks Radio Australia, Vulcan Sound Radio, Grrrl Power Hour, Rock Radio UK, to name just a few.
Castle Black’s biggest musical influences are The Dead Weather, Joy Division, Radiohead, and Sleater Kinney.
Review by NY Music Daily, November 7, 2016
Castle Black’s New Album: A Tower of Power
A year ago, power trio Castle Black had relentless energy, tons of promise and some good tunes that they were thrashing into shape through constant gigging, all the while trying to get off the Dives of New York treadmill. You know the dril: the Bitter End, Leftfield, Desmond’s, ad nauseum. Fast foward to now: they’ve got two excellent ep’s out, along with a killer video shot at Fort Tilden. The group – guitarist Leigh Celent, bassist Lisa Low and drummer Matt Bronner – are all decked out in post-apocalyptic camo, trudging with characteristic menace through the underbrush, finally emerging…no spoilers here! It’s the rare video that holds your attention all the way through to see what finally happens, a mystery story in images with a ferocious soundtrack. As usual, the trio have a couple of gigs coming up: tomorrow night, Nov 8 at 10 PM they’re playing Shrine in Harlem, followed at 11 by the intriguing Unknown Nobodies, who have both a punk side and another that veers closer to paisley underground psychedelia. Then the two bands are at the Parkside starting at 10 on Nov 18.
The new ep, Losing Forever, is streaming at their webpage. The title is typically enigmatic: is it apocalyptic, or just self-effacingly sarcastic? This group keeps you guessing. The opening track, Sabotage has a mighty oldschool Britpunk feel, it’s catchy, and anthemic, and pissed off, and like a lot of this band’s songs, is packed with unexpected tempo shifts, counterintuitive major/minor changes and catchy hooks. Premonition, by contrast, is a lot more straightforward, a bitter, vivid late-summer reminiscence. The jangle/crunch dichotomy in Celent’s gutar overdubs brings to mind the Distillers.
Bronner’s menacing rumble undpins the wickedly catchy, minor-key Secret Hideaway, part dark garage rock, part X, part Thalia Zedek. “We’ll be ok on a private holiday, wish for nevermore,” Celent intones enigmatically: a suicide pact, maybe?
Leave It kicks off like a swaying, midtempo Buzzcocks ballad and then hits a burning doublespeed punk drive, like peak-era Sleater-Kinney but with better vocals. The album winds up with its best song, the hauntingly epic, doomed Dark Light, built around Celent’s menacing, opening cliffhanger riff: it’s this band’s Last Rockers. There will be a Best Albums of 2016 page here at the end of the year and this one will be on it.
From Musically Fresh, April 26, 2016
"Introducing: Castle Black – Brooklyn’s Sound Bastion"
by Jay Graves
When discussing the history of Punk, a city that will always stand out for its artists and culture is New York City, home to the Ramones, The Velvet Underground and of course the legendary CBGB club, where many artists of the time earned their stripes.
Last year the big apple saw the inception of Brooklyn founded Castle Black, a Punk/Grunge trio capturing the NY sound with a subdued, crunchy Garage-band sound with a slight L7-esque edge to their own concoction.
In existence for less than twelve months, they soon gathered traction and are now playing shows all over the five boroughs, even stretching out in to the nation’s capital of DC, the home of legends such as Bad Brains, Fugazi and Rites of Spring.
Their debut EP, Find You There, was released last August (download link below) and being an 80’s child and New Wave Punker, I’m digging this all round.
The band also have a new release set for the 7th May, so keep an eye open and set towards Brooklyn’s battlements for the next foray of sound.