Cassels, London-based duo of brothers Jim and Loz Beck, have today revealed plans for a new album called A Gut Feeling, which will arrive early next year. While that seems a while off, the band have absolutely hooked us in with new single “Mr Henderson Coughs”, which they describe as “a story of grey areas, extenuating circumstances, and misguided attempts at redemption. It could be seen as darkly comic, but that depends on how dark your sense of humour is.”
We all remember how cruel teenagers can be, especially when hunting in packs, but Cassels bring that reality to life in domineering, horrifying fashion on “Mr Henderson Coughs”. A clear narrative told in tripping lines over lurching, doom-inflected riffs, it introduces us to the titular Mr Henderson, who is known as “affable” but unfortunately gets diagnosed with cancer. On the day before his first chemo appointment, he starts uncontrollably coughing throughout the school, and the children quickly pick up in this weakness and start to mock him by imitating his affliction. Eventually, this leads to Mr Henderson snapping, going wild and attacking the children – a manic scene that’s perfectly animated by Cassels’ ebullient riffs and thunderous playing. As the song concludes with the teacher deciding to skip his chemo session and repent for his sins in vain hope of reaching heaven, Cassels leave us with a devilish twinkle as they leave his fate in the lurch. A perfectly wicked sting in this cursed tale.
Listen to “Mr Henderson Coughs” below or on streaming platforms.