Jason Koerner

Louisville Rock Lowdown
By Jason Koerner

Too Caustic For TV

Marilyn Manson meets Mr. Rogers.

This is what I think of when I hear the band, read the lyrics and talk to the band's front man, Shawn "Sin Caustic" Dugdale. Where does the nickname "Sin" come from? According to Shawn, it comes from people's judgment of his appearance and how "evil" (insert Dr. Evil voice and finger gesture) he is. "Well, if I'm sooo evil... It's kind of an inside joke to myself," he says. The name of the band was chosen as a short and simple adjective that wasn't too suggestive, had a darker sound to it and like the music, is corrosive.

What happens when a semi-introverted, yet nice guy notices a lot of injustice and wrongs in the world, sees a lot of deception from so-called leaders and religion and feels a little heartache and depression? Caustic.

The band has been on their way up in the Louisville scene for a few months now. They claimed a nice finish in both Band Battles at Tek World recently (tied for 4th and 3rd) proving their strength as an original band with the capability to pull off some nice renditions of covers when needed. More importantly than this, they have a new CD out, Scars and Straps Forever. If you don't have it, get it. If you can't say anything more about it, it is the nicest production of a local CD I have seen. A lot of money and 92 hours of studio time went into the project and it shows.

(Eddy, I am going to rip you off here! ·) Props: The recording was done at Canyon Studios. It was produced by Chris Cassetta (Man, this guy records everyone!) and was engineered by Ivan Arnold. DRT did the mastering and CD-man.com took care of the duplication. Artwork credit goes to Transfix Design (.com). I wanted to name these people as a resource to anyone looking to do a serious album. Good work, guys.


The CD contains twelve songs, my favorites of which include "Plastic Christ" and "Hatepig." If you could not tell from the artwork and titles, the band is on the heavy side with a lot of sub-influences. They carry that nostalgic old-school metal sound with a good rock beat, coupled with a "modern day glam-metal" essence. Guitar solos are as common as skinny people in Somalia in this album, yet not overdone... especially considering the fact that guitarist David Kisselbaugh has an insane amount of talent in that area.

Over 100 copies of the disc sold at the CD release show and the response since has been outstanding. In their time together, the group has decided to shed the props and the makeup that they used in the beginning and just focus on their music.

The band credits their sound to the influences of Marilyn Manson, Zack Wylde, Pantera, Hypocrisy, Tool, Cronos (Venom), Nirvana and many others. They have been together for around two years now, with the current lineup in place for a much shorter period. (Damn bass players!) Finding a permanent bass player has been a major challenge to the band. Current bassist, Ryan Locke was only in band for one month before the trip to the studio. In that time he was taught the music and he even stepped in to do a show. As Sin states, "Everything stands out in a recording... He did a great job," so there was a large role to fill as a newbie to the group at that crucial moment.

Now that the disc is out, the guys are working on taking Caustic to a whole new level. Use CD to promote the band, get better shows out of town and sell themselves to label representatives... that is the plan. There is more of a drive to clean everything up, get tighter, buy better equipment and try to live up to studio album. Clean. Professional. Buzz words of the moment.

As far as gear goes, the boys have some pretty nice toys already. Dave got some new FX for his guitar recently and is saving up for a Triple Rectifier. Drummer Howard A.K.A. John Ramsey has a true double bass drum set (and he bangs the hell out of it) with an Ouija board design look. Shawn just picked up a Beta 58 wireless microphone and cuts through the mix a lot better as a result. Wearing earplugs lately has helped him to stay in tune more as well. Ryan's Ampeg stack has a million rack units to go with it- enough to make any bass player in the crowd have an accident in their pants... the sticky kind.

You can catch the band live at Tailgater's on March 2 during their first all ages show. If March 21 is a better date for you, head out to Tek World as they perform at the Revenants anniversary show. The band is also sending out press kits for some out of town gigs, so you may want to check the web site for updates at



I usually ask bands what they want to say to people reading the article in conclusion. Most answers range somewhere between, "Check us out live..." to "Support local music..." or "I have a huge ______." Caustic wants to dispel any notion that they are a-holes or are conceited in any way or have some strange motives for what they do. In my experience, the guys have been nothing but friendly to me. They are four folks who love playing music and performing.

"Why did we spend $8000 to put an album out? To go to the extreme and produce the best quality possible. We have a love for music. Want to make it, like many bands do... we might make it, we might not. We'll have fun trying... I don't talk much, unless you get me drunk! Neither does the rest of the band. We don't associate too much, we just a bunch of guys that play guitar in our room all day. Maybe that's why people feel the way they do. Really, we do have a sense of humor," Shawn says.

Caustic is already working on new music, kicking out songs, continuing to improve.

Good luck to them...

Send me money atrocklowdown@louisvillemusicnews.net

. Rock on Louisville!