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CKY – Carver City (review 2)
I know that the CKY sound is not as polished as the likes of Fall Out Boy or other pop rock bands, it’s not what they do, but even in comparison to 2002’s Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild or 2005’s An Answer Can Be Found, it seems cluttered at times. The use of synth often paints pictures of a kid with a new toy; loves it but doesn’t know how and when to use it.
So lets look at it track by track and see how Carver City comes out.
Hellions on Parade
The transition between the chugging verse and chorus seems chopped and sliced to work together – it’s only about half a second each time but it’s noticeable. The overall sound is slightly confusing with synth / guitar solos added in almost sporadically.
…And She Never Returned
Again it sounds very choppy and badly mixed – too much going on and timings seem a little off. More synth and solos that seem lost in the wall of sound – improved mastering would improve this track no end. It’s not that it’s a bad song it just needs better definition between the layers – two layers of guitars, a bass, drums, synth and vocals need to work together and they don’t always do so. Only gripe with the actual song itself is the intro seems like we’ve joined it a minute in rather than at the start.
The Boardwalk Body
This is more like CKY, the familiar guitar rhythm has returned in a way that works. The gang vocal growl /shouts fit in well and even the solo adds, rather than detracts from the track. My faith is slowly being revived!
‘Into the woods, and through the fields, experience what no one feels’ the opening line to Imaginary Threats sets the tone as the story of one of the fictional characters that can be found throughout the album.
The combination of lyrics and haunting (chorus?) guitar effects starting around 2 minutes in paint a visual image, you can almost see the music video in your head. This is the first time that I’ve ‘felt’ something when listening to this album and I’d expect it will do the same for everyone that does.
Rats in the Infirmary
There’s less to say about this track except that the mastering could be improved upon, at times it’s an almost indistinguishable wall of sound.
Plagued By Images
Synth and electronic effects play a big part in this track. The main guitar is played with a digital tone to it and occasionally the vocals receive a similar treatment making them almost robotic. After about 1.35 in it turns into a prog rock song with synth and electro effects galore.
The song structure is just plain strange – possibly a marmite one, this; you either love it or hate it. I’m no fan of marmite.
Other than a 35 second guitar solo in the middle there’s not much to shout about here.
Woe is Me
Standard Alternative Rock until about 2 minutes in when we get a heavier guitar riff and almost a completely different song. Slightly better than the first half; certainly more interesting.
A#1 Roller Rager
Another track where the mastering could be improved, the levels are all wrong. It’s also another track where synth seems to have been added as an after thought but it at least breaks up the monotony, the problem with CKY’s guitar tone is its limited range and after listening for a while it all sounds like one long droning rhythm.
Old Carver’s Bones
After a mighty vocal roar to open we’re welcomed to a decidedly ‘spooky’ sound to reflect the song title with warbling synth and haunted house piano. This is mostly an instrumental piece with the occasional vocal line thrown in for good measure. It’s an interesting turn from previous tracks and a step away from the normal CKY sound but does it work? I refer you to the marmite analogy.
The End of an Area
As you might have guessed from the title this is the closing track and suitably slow and reflective in its sound. Again most instrumental and while being a 5 minute track, tails off from about 3.30.
Actually one of the most interesting tracks on the album, a shame to leave it to the last but it’s a nice way to cap off an otherwise iffy release.
CKY - Carver City has good moments but too many bad, alot of which can be attributed to the mastering. I wanted to hear Deron Miller's vocals stand out and guitar and bass to be distinguishable but often it was not to be.
CKY fans should enjoy it - its still them and their sound, just a little modified. Wether it compares to previous releases, I'm yet to be convinced.