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Survival Is for Cowards

The Casket Lottery

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Album Review

The Casket Lottery's third studio full-length, Survival Is for Cowards, keeps with the band's vocal fire-eating while composing a sharp intellect. They've grown professionally and personally and the material exudes a passion — classic emo, but without the frowning. The production is slick; Nathan Ellis and Stacy Hilt are vocally in sync while each song leaves an individual impression. An intensity similar to the likes of At the Drive-In grabs hold on tracks such as "What I Built Last Night" and "Code Red." Emotion scales down for a bittersweet disposition on the "The Bridge," whereas "Leaving Town" strips away the aggression furthermore. Survival Is for Cowards brings characteristic complexities to the forefront, turning them into melodies of anguish. It's not redundant or monotonous.


Formed: 1998 in Kansas City, MO

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Coalesce's Nathan Ellis (guitar/vocals) and Stacy Hilt (bass) founded the Casket Lottery in the late '90s and composed a sound around crashing emo-tailored lyrics and heavy guitar work. They picked up drummer Nathan Richardson just in time for tours with Rainer Maria, Small Brown Bike, Sweep the Leg Johnny, and Waxwing. Several EPs and homemade releases were issued prior to the band's proper debut, Choose Bronze, on Second Nature Recordings in 1999. A year later, Moving Mountains was released, showcasing...
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Survival Is for Cowards, The Casket Lottery
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