What's not to love when you're reading a biography of an Alternative rock band and they exclaim: "We like Motown and we like Richard Hell... so we sound like Motown Hell."
I knew in my waters that I was going to find something interesting here. This Brighton-based quintet are setting their sights on breaking the mundane and sprinkling something quirky on the listening experience by keeping true to their abilities and their sound, whilst simultaneously investing some energies on a medley of influences that bend the mind in to an alternative universe when you try to decipher them.
To understand these fellows, it may help to imagine a baby having a tantrum, stomping it's wee feet on the floor to the soundtrack of the Super Furry Animals after inhaling some helium for good measure. The music itself can come across as angry and the twin vocals sitting on top are from an unsettled psychedelic world of thought. In fact the band themselves announced: "We like heavy, nasty pop with guitars; so that is what we do."
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If you haven't clicked on another link already and are sticking with this review, then I commend you heartily. 'Life's A Carnival, Bang! Bang! Bang!' is going to break up the monotony of whatever else has been on your music player of choice, and simultaneously offer some upbeat and busy arrangements for your ears to digest.
So what exactly does this breath of fresh air conjure up for our listening pleasure? With the exception of the opening track, none of the songs exceed four minutes and this is to their advantage. Appealing to those of a short attention span they get in, get out and leave you wishing to repeat the experience. It isn't advised however if you're of a nervous disposition or challenged with a headache.
This glorious high-street of sounds begins briefly with some guitar effects or some such bizarre behaviour before nestling into its rhythm and song structure. 'Tos And Fros' incorporates a melody line which weaves in and out of the musical mayhem. "You're a keeper 'cos you never talk back" shows off their attitude.
Hot on the heels of this opening audible bowl of spaghetti bounces the irresistible quirky 'Caught In The Twist'. Complete with an insane smile from ear to ear, this track prances around as if it was riding bareback on a hippopotamus heading for a muddy bath. 'My Muddle', 'No Cigar' and 'Disco Biscuits (For Breakfast)' maintain this unruly party atmosphere.
'7 Minute Itch' shares a different flavour with what sound like different lead vocalists, but alas I don't have the information at hand to clarify this observation. It's a real highlight on what is a layered album with a long lifespan. The album title is highly appropriate to their sound and personality.
'Life's A Carnival, Bang! Bang! Bang!' kicks sand in the eyes of the mainstream and proudly holds its head high, saluting noise and melody in equal measures. I raise my cup of hot chocolate to these guys and fully expect them to thrash me at a game of billiards.
What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare, but hopefully we do have time to listen to 'Life's A Carnival, Bang! Bang! Bang!'
Tos And Fros
Caught In The Twist
Disco Biscuits (For Breakfast)
Got Your Nose
7 Minute Itch
Old Rats On A New Ship
D For Conversation
The Twenty Four