Monday, July 27, 2015

Carousel – 2113

So here I sit once again scrambling to find time to pump out some recommendations. I sit here pedaling on the stationary bike at my neighborhood gym after a 10 hour workday on a Friday afternoon while the Food Network simmers above on the TV screen plucking at my iPhone like a wife with her head cut off. This is my time to shine, meaning the small window I have during the day to dedicate to listening to the best rock and roll you're not listening to. Today the ear candy is brought to me via the amazing new album by the retro heavy rockers Carousel. 2113 is the number and/or year of the album, being their sophomore output. I've been struggling to keep this off my iPod all week long. A lot like my last review of Freedom Hawk's Into Your Mind, the wow factor is high and my exercise bike routine times out much too quick. Time flies when you're having fun right?

Anyway, about the album, Carousel has utterly blown my mind with the infectious riffs on display here. "Trouble" kicks the album off and is just that if your idea of trouble is screaming riffage fronted by sinisterly sexy vocals and flaming dual guitar solos. The tempo is hard and fast and the attitude is all party. Not unlike their debut album, Jeweler’s Daughter, the guitars are loud, precise, and intense, and the vocals belt out a harmony that will welt your ass cheeks like the whip of Grandpa’s belt.

“Photograph” snaps into a bass heavy rhythm displaying the smoky combination of lead and backup vocals swirling with Thin Lizzy-esque strokes of the battle axe. For guitar fans this is another must-have album to add to this year’s collection. It'd fit nice right next to Freedom Hawk or even Valkyrie or Black Star Riders latest records. The dual guitar threat always gets me, paired perfectly against the deep rumbling drum blasts. Guitarist Matt Goldsborough of Pentagram/The Skull fame has joined the team for 2113, which is perhaps one reason the chops sound so awesome!

Chalked full of melodic chorus lines and smooth as silk backing vox, 2113 brings elements of classic metal, rock and modern stoner groove. Think High n' Dry era Def Leopard but played to a gang of Harley addicts. This is party rock, biker metal, retro stoner dirge with an AC/DC squelch.

It’s hard to pick a favorite song as they all bring a pleasantly familiar tingle. If I had to pick I'd currently go with "Man Like Me" with its mellow groove and catchy bass line.

==Break== (Left Gym, went home kids in bed, hours later cont.)

Put your shades on, flip your hair back, put the pedal to the metal and melt away to the irresistible melody, or if you're a man like me, do all that minus the hair flip and let the wind blow through your receding hair line. From hard rocking anthems to lonely blues ballads, Carousel rock through highs and lows like a carousel ride on acid. "Strange Revelation" revolves slowly and methodically with a somber tone, beefed up with wicked blues-based shreddage and stinging vocals. Just when you think you've had enough, a familiar ring pipes in to close the album down with a cover of Joe Walsh's "Turn to Stone". Let’s give a round of applause for Mr. Walsh! While we’re at it, big clap for Carousel as well as they have constructed a magnificent album with 2113. And now I’m on youtube listening to Joe Walsh. Ha. Literally. Okay back now, gotta wrap this up just like I wrapped my 3 year old up about an hour ago in bed. This old man is getting tired.

If we're still around 98 years from this albums release, our children and their children will have reason to celebrate the moment 2113 is resurrected. Carousel will find a place in your collection whether you’re an old hippy, hair metal revivalist, modern stoner, or basically anyone with an ounce of good taste. The album is due out August 28th on Tee Pee Records. I know I'm on board to grab a vinyl edition. It's a must have folks. Perfect soundtrack for the latter half of summer leading into fall. God damn it's so good. Don’t pass this one up.

-The Huntsman


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