11 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Casey Neill is a longtime singer/songwriter who’s been playing anthemic and reflective rock ’n’ roll with a Celtic touch for years to anyone who'd listen. The Norway Rats have featured some of the best musicians in the Portland, Ore., area, including keyboardist Jenny Conlee-Drizos (Black Prairie, Decemberists), guitarists Chet Lyster (Eels) and Matt Brown (Storm Large), bassist Jesse Emerson (Amelia), and drummer Joe Mengis (Priory). Produced by Chris Funk (Decemberists, Black Prairie), All You Pretty Vandals sounds as if it could have been recorded in the mid-'80s alongside albums by R.E.M., Winter Hours, Miracle Legion, and Dumptruck. Songs like “In with a Shout,” “Vanish Away,” and “The Dark Divide” capture that dramatic sense of melancholy heard on vinyl records in college dorms of that era. Literate with strong harmonies from another round of guests—including Luz Elena Mendoza (Y La Bamba), Langhorne Slim, Scott McCaughey (Minus 5), Annalisa Tornfelt (Black Prairie), and Lisa Molinaro (Talkdemonic)—All You Pretty Vandals might even seem a tad old-school with its linear sense of sound. But timeless songwriting need not date itself.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Casey Neill is a longtime singer/songwriter who’s been playing anthemic and reflective rock ’n’ roll with a Celtic touch for years to anyone who'd listen. The Norway Rats have featured some of the best musicians in the Portland, Ore., area, including keyboardist Jenny Conlee-Drizos (Black Prairie, Decemberists), guitarists Chet Lyster (Eels) and Matt Brown (Storm Large), bassist Jesse Emerson (Amelia), and drummer Joe Mengis (Priory). Produced by Chris Funk (Decemberists, Black Prairie), All You Pretty Vandals sounds as if it could have been recorded in the mid-'80s alongside albums by R.E.M., Winter Hours, Miracle Legion, and Dumptruck. Songs like “In with a Shout,” “Vanish Away,” and “The Dark Divide” capture that dramatic sense of melancholy heard on vinyl records in college dorms of that era. Literate with strong harmonies from another round of guests—including Luz Elena Mendoza (Y La Bamba), Langhorne Slim, Scott McCaughey (Minus 5), Annalisa Tornfelt (Black Prairie), and Lisa Molinaro (Talkdemonic)—All You Pretty Vandals might even seem a tad old-school with its linear sense of sound. But timeless songwriting need not date itself.

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About Casey Neill

Casey Neill is a Portland, Oregon-based singer/songwriter known for blending politically oriented folk with Celtic, punk, country, and other styles. Neill was raised on the East Coast but moved to Olympia, Washington to attend Evergreen State University, where he became interested in environmentalism and protest music. Throughout the mid-'90s, Neill worked in the Pacific Northwest underground music scene, self-releasing a handful of cassettes and CDs before signing with the Appleseed label. Basing himself out of Portland, he issued several albums for the label beginning with his eponymous 1998 album. His next two albums, Skree (1999) and Portland West (2001), heavily featured his Celtic influence and were produced by legendary Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham. He also appeared on Appleseed's tribute album to Pete Seeger alongside Bruce Springsteen and Billy Bragg. Throughout the early 2000s, Neill continued to tour heavily and issued a live LP called Live on 11th Street in 2004. The following year, Amy Ray's Daemon label released a compilation of Neill's work called Memory Against Forgetting. After a brief stint living in New York, he returned to Portland and signed with In Music We Trust to release the acclaimed LP Brooklyn Bridge in 2007. Pulling from a multitude of styles, the album featured appearances from Erin McKeown, John Wesley Harding, members of the Decemberists, and more. His next LP, 2010's Goodbye to the Rank and File, would be his first with new backing band the Norway Rats, which featured the Decemberists' Jenny Conlee and several other notable Portland musicians. A second Norway Rats LP called All You Pretty Vandals arrived in 2013. 2015 saw the release of one of Neill's more ambitious albums in the form of Big Bridges, a collaboration with Japanese heavy metal artist Takashi O'hashi. ~ Timothy Monger & Steve Huey

HOMETOWN
Portland, Oregon

Songs

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