Barely Alive is ready to hit the road again, and they’ve kicked off the excitement with a hefty EP on Bassrush, Casket Case.
The duo Barely Alive has become a household name for dubstep lovers. Childhood friends Matt Meier and Willie Watkins have been producing together for a decade, and Willie takes their music to the stage wearing the iconic robot helmet. The producer pair’s distinct, aggressive, retro sound has earned their music homes on labels like Disciple, Monstercat, and Bassrush while bringing them to festivals like EDC Las Vegas, Lost Lands, and, more recently, Apocalypse Zombieland.
Even with a busy year, the two still connected to concoct a hefty EP titled Casket Case just in time for their BETTER OFF DEAD TOUR. Triumphant synths usher in the release gently on “Big Ivan” before alarms blare, preparing us for blood-curdling bass. The heavy-hitting track features the iconic dancehall sample made infamous within dubstep by Skrillex and Ragga Twins’ “Ragga Bomb,” outfitting it with more modern-day production.
The lead single, “Headshot,” briefly switches up the pace, offering a glittering foundation on which Mikey Ceaser‘s carefree lyrics glide around. This happy-go-lucky feel is abbreviated as the track takes a gruesome turn with rolling drums followed by a blunder of bass.
Next, Barely Alive teams up with beastboi. to bring the softest yet somehow possibly heaviest track on the project, “Sky High.” Ethereal echoes and mystical vocals will have listeners expecting “Sky High” to be a melodic entry of the tracklist. That thought process is almost immediately interrupted by distorted vocals and punching kicks before we are thrashed about.
“Double Dare” creeps up on the listeners, enveloping them in suspense as the track builds. The first half of the eerie tune is convulsively chaotic with a hectic drop. The second throws listeners through a loop with a minimal, punching bassline outlined by a throbbing kick.
While every track on Casket Case is unique, they all have one thing in common. Each one expresses Barely Alive’s talent to subvert listeners’ initial expectations. It is always impressive when artists with distinct sounds can still take their listeners on an unexpected journey, especially after ten years in the game.
Stream Barely Alive- Casket Case on Spotify:
Barely Alive – Casket Case – Tracklist:
- Big Ivan
- Headshot featuring Mikey Ceaser
- Sky High with beastboi.
- Double Dare