I Am Carpenter

My God Clara

Written by: TL on 30/12/2012 23:33:16

Coming up on year's end, many of the bands we're struggling to review before the flip of the calendar are naturally ones we haven't gotten to because we haven't known much about them beforehand. The problem with having too much time between an album's release and listening to it is I find, that it too often gives the most promising bands time to go and break up before I get into them - Trust me it happens more often than should be probable! Latest case in point: South Carolina quintet I Am Carpenter, who released their debut LP "My God Clara" in July, only to call it quits in November.

That they did so is nothing but a great God damn shame I think, because I've become immediately intrigued as soon as I first sat down with their album: One I'd explain as an exploration of what it would sound like if the grungy rage of bands like Sainthood Reps or (later) Brand New collided with the characteristic melancholic eruptions of bands like Manchester Orchestra or All Get Out. The approach taken most often on "My God Clara" is to contrast restrained hurt and bitternes with massive sounding climaxes of arena-shaking potential - The result not sounding all that far from Rockfreaks.net darlings Wolves And Machines.

Flattering references would be meaningless however, if it wasn't for the excellent flow between the quakes and the tenderness exhibited all across the album, with the dense frustration often crashing in and dropping away with the exact timing that, even after a just one or two listens, gives you the feeling that this is the type of record you want to spend more spins on. Having spent quite a few listens by now myself - though nowhere near as many as I would have liked - I must admit that there's a lack of variety, which is normal to young bands, that means that it can initially be a bit hard to tell songs from one another, but it almost does not matter because "My God Clara" sounds so evoking that you'll automatically want to pour more of your time into it.

.. And if I hadn't allowed myself to push this album so closely up against New Years Eve, I would have loved nothing better than to listen to it for one or two more weeks so I could also dissect the delicacies of each song for you. For now however, you'll have to make do with a doze of early adoration for particularly tracks seven and eight "Fights" and "Girls Names". I love how "Fights" breaks off a total explosion with the most cheerful little fiddle melody and tempo change only to ramp up again, just as I love how "Girls Names"' relatively restrained first half builds into a second act of bitter declaration that just peaks and peaks again around brief, quirky "oh-oh-oooh" valleys. Oh and the signature phrase of the following "Welcome Home" isn't delivered without power either.

"But isn't this just mostly some bitter dude yelling his heart and throat out over echoing, lumbering mountains of guitar noise" -you might object, and yes indeed it is, but since when has that not been an utterly awesome thing to feast one's ears upon? I say that it is, and I am annoyed in no small way that I haven't managed to listen to this a hell of a lot more before the band went and bloody disbanded. To the point of swearing excessively in a review even. Fuck. At least the whole thing is available for streaming right below here, so do me a favour and listen, so you and I can regretfully bang our heads against the wall in rhythm, no?


Download: Girls Names, Fights, Welcome Home
For The Fans Of: Wolves & Machines, Sainthood Reps, Brand New, All Get Out, Thrice, Make Do And Mend
Listen: facebook.com/IAmCarpenterSC

Release Date 16.07.2012

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