While some bands burst into life right off the bat, others need time and hard-won perspective to truly blossom.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s Carousel Kings fall into the latter group; having chipped away at their pop-punk formula since 2009, they’ve finally conjured up the record that could make their name.
Heartfelt, imaginative and full of surprises, ‘Charm City’ shows off the four-piece’s impressive range. Running the gamut from breezy, yet soulful easycore (‘Glory Daze’) to thoughtful, anguished alt.rock (‘Something Isn’t Right’) and even dipping their toes into heavier climes (‘Dynamite’ throws in some crunching riffs), they stand out like a tie-dyed skyscraper in a sea of grey.
They’re pretty handy with a riff, but wedding introspective musings to ridiculously addictive choruses is their true vocation.
Crucially, Carousel Kings have grown into a band with a unique identity. Sure, the super-slick production does strip these songs of some of their punch, and at 13 tracks it might outstay its welcome a little, but when the journey takes in pitch-perfect cuts like ‘Bad Habit’ and straight-up bangers like ‘Fractals’, you won’t regret buying a ticket.
As long as luck is on their side, the sky is the limit for these guys.