In 2006 this Chicago based band released the album under the grammatically challenged title: ‘You Will Changed Us’. It wasn’t the breakthrough release they’d hoped for and record label problems delayed any immediate follow up.
‘The Year That Never Came’ is their belated second album. Sadly, it will also be their last due to the sudden death of founding member, Belfast-born songwriter and singer Joe Cassidy aged 51. He died of natural causes in July 2021.
The other band members are Aaron Miller (drums) , David Golitko (keyboards), Alex Kemp (bass) and Joe’s long-term partner, Merritt Lear on vocals and guitar. None of these could envisage a future ASSASSINS without Cassidy who had previously been best known for his dream pop indie band Butterfly Child. There’s the bitterest of ironies in the fact that they chose This Can’t Go On as the closing track.
It would be nice to report that the album is a modern day classic. Unfortunately, it’s not. It is an uneasy mix of melodic synth-pop and atmospheric metalcore that is more New Order than New Model Army. There are no crushing guitars or screamo vocals and none of the essential spark that gives the band a unique identity. Teething is the heaviest number, one of two songs where Merritt Lear’s voice is prominent (the other being Singers And Seethers).
All credit to the band for finishing the songs in the most difficult of circumstances. This labour of love means that record will stand as a proof of life’s transience and unpredictability.
A quote chosen from Rainer Marie Rilke renders this in poetic terms: “The future enters into us, and transforms itself inside us, long before it comes to pass.”