Another band loosely tied in to the great Man or Astro-Man is The Causey Way, a group of musicians supposedly based out of Florida that are here to save you. "The Causey Way is not a cult," the inside of the spine reads, but if you ever saw them play live you might not know that. They had a compound in Florida and at their live shows, there were a lot of candles, doves, and white clothing. They even passed a plate for collections... and wouldn't play until someone gave them a dollar. It was all in good fun, though, and their short recording career came to a screeching halt after their fourth release. A fifth and sixth release were both in the can, one was a CD EP for What Else? records and another was a 7" vinyl of the month club release, but neither of these actually surfaced.
The group's aim, musically, is a lot like the many synth-happy groups we're so keen to review at this site, with theremins, a Moog, and a lot of noisy guitar work. The production is just clean enough so you can not understand The Causey's (Scott Stanton) vocal stylings. You can understand most of what he says, but a lot of it will appeal to lyrical conspiracy theorists that like to have things to argue about. As there are no lyrics with the album, and the band's former Yahoo group is all but silent, it may be difficult to even find someone to discuss the topic with. But I digress.
Energetic, noisy fun is on the menu through six short songs which have yet to make it to any other release aside from an even more obscure New Wave compilation from the now defunct Super 8 Records. Many of the songs were played live and in the heyday of Napster, live versions of many of these tracks were available, many of which had alternate lyrics. (One song had Causey warbling "It's so hard to be a sissy" which was changed to "It's so hard to be Causey" when played live.) It's easy to get the feeling that these were a bunch of musicians that maybe had something important to say but instead decided to make an album that had fun saying it, while at the same time not hitting you over the head with it. The music itself is really fantastic if you're into the likes of Servotron or Devo, but the vocals are a taste that may have to grow on you. This isn't heavy, thought-provoking stuff and their subsequent bands kept the fairly simplistic lyrics. Still, if you have a sense of humor and can appreciate yet another band that the legendary Birdstuff drums on, check this out
The group hadn't quite found its audience at this point, and arguably, really never did. Their second release, With Loving and Open Arms, was a fairly harsh punk album with a lot of synthesized sounds. Number three, Testimony, was basically a synth pop disc with a few very mellow sounding tunes. Causey vs. Everything was a big mixture of everything, including some Spanish lyrics, and is probably the easiest to find and the easiest to listen to.
I'd be negligent to leave out the packaging. The album cover model is supposedly a member of ORI (aka Operation Re-Information) but I am unable to verify this. Inside, there are ramblings that explain The Causey Compound and the band's desire for-- you'll forgive the pun-- a cult following. There was a fan club which had a form to fill out that basically looked like an application for a cult, so for people that have a sense of humor about such things, this should be a hoot.
Out of print for several years and a real rarity in used record stores and on eBay, the once $6-$7 release can be had from anywhere from a couple of dollars to as high as $25. If you're a fan of the band and never found the songs through other means*, it's worth it. This is arguably their best release, and it has little to no chance of ever being reissued since all of 70 people probably remember the band.
*- When the group broke up, a message on their site-- presumably not a joke-- said to do whatever you wanted with the music. Play it, download, it, whatever. We're assuming this was legit and as such, try your favorite file sharing service for this album or other Causey tracks.
March 1, 2004