Ryan Caskey is an alternative-rock recording artist based in Los Angeles, California. Guitarist Ryan teamed up with producer Eddie Hedges to record “AUTOMATIC,” his third full-length album, which is now available on iTunes. “AUTOMATIC” is an energetic collection of 3-minute alt/rock singles featuring smooth vocal harmonies and unexpected transitions, fusing the genres of rock, funk, and pop. The collection of songs range in style from aggressive rock to Vaudeville. Audible influences include The Beatles, Garbage, Grateful Dead, Dandy Warhols, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Alice N Chains, and NOFX.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Ryan moved to Los Angeles in 2004 with the band Altitude, recording the album “Homage” with producer/engineer Steve Ewing of The Urge. Prior to Altitude, Ryan fronted the funk-rock outfit Mid-City Flavor, and recorded his debut album “Instinct” in Omaha’s Warehouse Productions Studio with engineer Jim Homan.
‘AUTOMATIC’ is Ryan Caskey’s most definitive work thus far, and although it is 8-track EP, it listens like a full length album. This release is worthy of all the praise that it certainly will receive as it truly seeks to break new ground using inspirational rock sounds from the past. It has great vocal arrangements, intricate guitar soloing, full exploitation of the rhythm section and an overall spirit that reaches for greatness.
‘Forget 3 Days’ is a great opener! Everything about it sets the tone for the album rather perfectly. It’s so dark and atmospheric. It’s a song that actually gets better every time you listen to it. The guitars are outstanding, they overlap and envelope brilliantly, while the bass and drum acoustics are all tightly intertwined and the vocal harmonies fill-in all the gaps and spaces lusciously. Thematically, it sets the tone for the first part of the album as well. As Caskey’s dark subject matter starts straight from the outset.
‘Enemy’ confirms the brilliance of Caskey’s guitar hooks and riffs. He churns them out like an automated production line. On this track they drive the rhythm section like a gale force wind in a forest on fire. Pure rock n’ roll!
‘Autopilot’ is quite possibly my favorite track on the album. Compared to the other songs on the album, this may sound like one of the ‘lighter’ tracks. Instead it is one of the more intense songs. Thanks to the consummate musical arrangement which rides on a piano and clean guitar rhythm section, driven by a hard-hitting snare drum beat. A great melody, eloquent vocal harmonies and a sizzling guitar solo do the rest to make this song a winner.
‘Eraser’ balances on a thick and muddy swamp rock guitar jive, and a harmonious “America-like” vocal melody. Once again Caskey’s guitar is King!
‘Calamity’ features all of Ryan Caskey’s strong points. An ear for a good tune, the gift for catchy harmonies and the ability to arrange emotionally sweeping musical pieces under an endearingly simple melody.
The three final songs on the ‘AUTOMATIC’ album take Caskey on an adventurous journey towards ever-changing genres.
‘Nap’ hovers around the realms of ‘Ziggy Stardust’, and is radically different from the other songs. Keyboard driven with an almost electronic sounding drumbeat, ‘Nap’ is both ethereal and haunting.
On ‘Eternia’ Caskey once again switches genres, with a lighter almost gospel sounding acoustic touch. His vocation for intricate vocal harmonies however, remain wholly intact.
Not yet exhausted of taking his audience on a roller coaster ride, Caskey adds the twist in the tail. Closing down the album with yet another genre change!
The very Beatlish sounding hop-a-long jig ‘Sunday For Stella’ could easily have come straight off the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.
On ‘AUTOMATIC’, Ryan Caskey lays all his musical cards on the table. His swift and powerful guitar hooks. His natural knack with melodies and harmonies. His ability to slide around various genres quickly and easily. And his profound lyrics and songwriting.
If this album was a poker game, Ryan Caskey would have a “Full House!”