Carousels and Limousines

12 Jul

One of the big curses of British music is that home-grown bands too often ignore British [influences] and became infatuated by American sounds. It makes commercial sense in an entertainment world dominated by America, but the hybrid sound too often forgets what makes bands both sides of the Atlantic great, and ends up impressing no one. However, every so often a band comes along that embodies both the American influences and the British spirit. Carousels and Limousines are one of these bands.

Carousels and Limousines

Despite coming from Bath, they sound uncannily like classic New Jersey blue collar artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Gaslight Anthem. It’s in everything from the singer’s rough, world-weary voice to their weary optimism and gritty urban rock. They have the same talent for conjuring up a place, and every song feels like the story of a night on the town or a lost love.

‘One and Only’ displays the band’s hopeless romantic side, as the singer asks for a kiss from his true love. The band have described their transatlantic musical lovechild as garage pop, but when it’s this fun a label hardly matters. “How about a kiss for your one and only?” the infectious chorus goes, with more than a hint of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’. Some of the lyrics are a bit corny perhaps, but it’s so upbeat you won’t be able to resist the urge to dance with it. The sense of euphoria ties in perfectly with the cover artwork of a neon tornado tearing through a black and white carnival, suggesting there’s fun in this bleak world we live in if you only go and look for it.

‘17’s’ slows things a bit as the singer lusts after an unavailable girl, musing “Your hips that sway and your eyes that say things good girls never should.” It is classic 70’s rock and will struggle to believe it was recorded outside of the States. The band’s transformation since they performed as Grace has seen them create a much rougher, less polished sound, which makes this lovelorn anthem sound more believable.

There are no two songs that sound the same, as though the band is urgently trying their hand at every possible style in case they don’t get another chance; ballads, acoustic guitars and harmonicas are all utilised. However if this record is anything to go by, we will be hearing a lot more from them.

Read next week for an interview with the band.

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2 Responses to “Carousels and Limousines”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. “There will always be a place for rock music!” – Carousels and Limousines Interview | The Music Court - July 19, 2013

    […] week, we brought you Carousels and Limousines, a British rock band with an American heart. This week, their lead singer Sam Gotley tells you […]

  2. “There will always be a place for rock music!” – Carousels & Limousines | jamiewaller2 - August 7, 2013

    […] week, we brought you Carousels and Limousines, a British rock band with an American heart. This week, their lead singer Sam Gotley tells you […]

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