Earlier this month, London indie 4 piece Carcrash Casino released their debut album, Nobody Knows More About Carcrash Casino Than I Do. Certainly a long name, but definitely one I will not be forgetting easily.
The album opens with Breach Of The Peace, immediately starting with a classic indie style guitar riff. This song combines punchy rhymes, sometimes bordering on cheesy but not quite overkill, an upbeat style and dark overtones to create something that has vibes of The Clash, especially the song (and album) London Calling. I also really like the droning guitar about 2/3 into the song, to me it further emphasises that dark, almost criminal overtone that the song and title suggest. Overall, a good opener to the album.
Next up is Don’t Make Me Laugh. Another song with an overall happy sound to it, but the lyrics still show that there is something more going on behind that happy front the singer/main character is putting on. This is also the shortest song on the album, coming in at just over 2 minutes, with the same punchy element driving it home. It might just be me hearing it, but this song seems to have a theme of trying to escape from a beach, so the joyous title nicely goes against the message behind the song.
Number three is titled Doormats Of The World Unite!. Normally, with a song you can get a very general idea about what it is about by the title, however I learned that, with Carcrash Casino, you get anything but what you expect, so going into this song I have no idea! The song opens with an almost reggae drum beat, and that drum is what drives this whole song. Instead of the clean, indie style guitars we saw in the first two tracks, this ones uses heavier, dirtier distorted guitars and bass, and helps to create a mood of confusion and fear, which the lyrics really show in this song. I really like the guitar solo towards the end of the song. There’s not much to say other than it really fits it well! I could imagine, with an ending like that, it is the perfect song to finish a show with.
Come Back To Me is next. The track’s opening reminds me of American Midwest Emo bands, think Tigers Jaw, Brand New, The Hotelier. However, when we get to the singing it goes back to the London Indie style the band have shown themselves to be so far. This song also starts to paint the picture of the album, and I can start to see a story line forming across these four tracks that I’m hoping will continue on. I don’t know if that was intentional by the band, or it was one of these things that just happen. On the first listening of this song I already find myself sinning along. The guitar solo near the end of this one really brings that flange effect to its full use, something that can easily go wrong, but one I think they’ve got right on this occasion.
At nearly 8 minutes long, Cease & Desist is the longest track on this album. Opening with an acoustic guitar, before going into the driving electric guitar and drums, this tracks continues the story that is either in my mind or deliberate. To me, it tells the story of the unknown of entering a new relationship, and everything you risk giving up. The slower, slight change in style really helps break up the album at the half way point. At the just-before-5-minutes point, the guys go back to the acoustic style that opened the song, followed by the mixture of driving acoustic guitar and backing electric, giving me a late Frank Turner vibe.
Following on is In Ascension, more of a pop-punk style, with the driving guitars and drums throughout. It also continues to tell the story of the album, and is even complete with the short guitar solo at about midway through. Again, this song gives sounds happy from outside, but on deeper listening it is pretty dark, and with the confession like bridge, makes me somehow both confused and really enjoying it.
Number 7, the penultimate track is Five Favours Please. This song opens with a retro style, almost washed out guitar rhythm, with the lyrics coming in to create a radio like effect. Think Green Day – Song Of The Century. And then, at just under a minute in, we get the full effect, complete with twangy bass and the driving drums this band does so well. Expect more guitar solos and dark overtone lyrics, although these do give a hint of things getting better, a nice turnaround from the start of the album.
And to finish it off is Something’s Happening Here. At just over 4 minutes, this song sits at the midway point in terms of length. The track opens in a quieter way, before hitting into the punchy, scratchy guitars that we have seen throughout the album. The message of this final song is starting to have a happy overtone to it, and although the lyrics first appear sad, I soon realised this is more about healing and getting better, giving a nice end to the album. The happy style gives me a kind of The Who-The Beatles hybrid mood to the song. This is also one which pushes lead singer Jon up to his highest notes.
So if you are looking for a new indie album full of guitar solos, punchy rhymes and a bit of twangy bass, this is the one from you. The guys have really pulled this out of the bag for their debut album, and this is one that will hopefully be playing live soon, and releasing more in the future. In the meantime, you can listen to Nobody Knows More About Carcrash Casion Than I Do here, and find out more about the band here.