When you check out a lot of new music, you discover there aren’t that many bands with the confidence to stick their neck above the parapet to create something a little different sounding to the other stuff out there. After a few fruitless searches for something new and tasty for my eardrums to devour I hit paydirt with the new Carnival Club EP Nomads and Crooks.
From the first listen, title track Sin City wriggles and fights like a trapped rat in a sack. This song is a mix of funky sass blended with feral garage while executed with finesse and attitude. From its initial blast of angry insistent guitar and dirty fuzzy thrusting heavy-rock vocals, a sprinkle of Bolan glitter dust, to its funk bass beat chorus Sin City is a song that just demands attention.
Carnival Club are a Manchester band on the up and refreshingly they have been able to cut away from the Manchester sound of the last 20 years. After supporting Courteeners Liam Fray on his solo tour at the end of last year, Carnival Club also snagged the Courteeners producer Joe Cross to work on the swank of Sin City.
The EP is a piece of two halves given the remaining tracks revealed a band clearly comfortable with flashing their rock roots while re-imagining the Seattle sound of the early 90’s and pulling a thing or two from more recent sounds. Cut The Slack for example reminds me so much of Pearl Jam. Nomad meanwhile has something of Kings of Leon, and Lemmy during his Hawkwind era vibe to it. It doesn’t surprise me to discover that these rockier songs were recorded at a different time from the title track as the atmosphere between the two tracks is so at odds. It’s cool as it shows a different aspect to the band.
Follow the Sun is perhaps the star of these second tranche of songs; this is a slower tune with some banging guitar work from Eddie Moxon, and classic hard rock vocals from Kai Jon Roberts. This has a nice lazy feel with a flow like a river on a summer’s day. Vocally again I get something of Kings of Leon and there’s a lot to like with the lush strong guitar on this track. George Peel on bass and John Azopardi on drums make up this lively young 4 piece.
Look out for Carnival Club live; they are regularly selling out venues in Manchester and are not to be missed at this stage of their career. I also couldn’t resist snagging a bit of vinyl for my collection from their store at Bandcamp; the 100 limited edition red vinyl EP with poster will look particularly dashing in my stash.