“I’ve been thinking of giving up,” words from “Grey Goose” off of Carousel Kings’ Charm City, has to be some of the most pop punk lyrics to open a record with.
The guitar solo mid-song blew me away. I love the clear vocals in the second track “Glory Daze” combined with the darker sound of the guitarwork and always-interesting drums. “Something Isn’t Right” starts slow and minimal, with a sudden crashing of sound halfway through. At first I didn’t like the seemingly sudden sound change and would have preferred a full ballad on par with the start, but as I gave it another listen, it felt right. The song is about the death of someone close, and from personal experience, I can attest that even if you know it’s coming, someone in your life dying feels like the sudden crashing of drums and an almost-chaotic menagerie of instruments. Carousel Kings captured that exact feeling in “Something Isn’t Right.” The rhythm in “Unconditionally” is infectious. The yelling towards the end of the song takes this song up a notch, giving it a more epic vibe, which I love. My only complaint about this album is that it has a few tracks that just aren’t memorable, namely the final two tracks, “Fool’s Gold” and “You Never Will.” As a whole, I feel this album mixes in rock, emo, and acoustic features into a classic pop punk sound, and does so brilliantly.’
Overall: Every track on Charm City is beyond catchy. From stellar, clean vocals to impressive guitarwork, it’s definitely a recommended album for pop punk fans.
Review by Shane Haley