Review: The Wars At Home | Carbon Tigers

For those who like: The National, Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, Death Cab for Cutie

Carbon Tigers have been busy working hard, dedicating time and improving upon past releases. They are ready to taken on the world. After a slight set back in 2012 with most of the bands equipment getting stolen (an estimated $30,000 worth) and no leads of where it could have gone, the band called to its fans to help them raise money to continue on. After raising a substantial amount of money with help from their fans, Carbon Tigers are back and better than ever. To see a band work so diligently to continue on and not let a troubling event hold them back is a noble feat.

The Wars at Home is five tracks of swirling pop with grittier rock elements entwined to give it a sleek sensual feel. You can hear all the effort put into the new album as you listen to the first track entitled “Everybody Else.” The band has a warm feel that rushes over you as you immerse yourself in the EP that spans just less than twenty minutes. With the velvety and lush vocals of Chris Wienke, you listen to him illustrate the issues of change and growth as the songs play.

The album is a mix up and revival of all the albums that we yearn to hear. Carbon Tigers have a sound that is familiar yet new, which makes them something comfortable and different at the same time. Each track is a new story and feeling waiting to be explored. The lyrics are relatable and not far-fetched, which can make it even more pleasurable to listen to.

Hailing from Chicago, the four piece have taken the help of music veterans such as Charlie Dresser, Mike Watts and Ed Brooks to shape the sound of the new album in a different way than previous endeavors. Overall, the EP has more of chilled out rock vibe, but the last track and my personal favorite “The Harvest” takes on a more aggressive approach with glittering guitars and intense percussion to create a different feel than the rest of the album. All will reach eargasm while listening.  You can tell that Carbon Tigers have a new refreshed method to making albums, and it shows throughout their entire EP.

Release Date: November 19
Rating: 4/5
Run Time: 19:31

Track list:
1. Everybody Else
2. The Wars at Home
3. Ishmael
4. Queen
5. The Harvest

Band Members:
Chris Wienke (singer/keys/guitar)
Nick Cudone (guitar/keys/vox)
Aaron Sweatt (bass/guitar/vox)
Darien Williams (drums/vox)

Written By: Chelsea Conte

Review: This Is Home | Charlie Siren

For those who like:  A Day to Remember, Bomb the Music Industry!, The Early November

            Charlie Siren is a five-piece pop punk band out of Minneapolis, Minnesota and sound like they fit right into the Warped Tour scene. And it turns out they should because they were selected as winners from a Battle of the Bands competition to play the well attended festival. This Is Home is the second full length from the band that was out this past October and has many pleasantries in the mix.

            If you are someone who is always in a rush or does not like to take their time with things this band is for you. Not to say that the band is that way, but they play very FAST.  When listening to This Is Home I was genuinely shocked when drummer Paeton Gillette keeps such a rapid pace while equally paying as much attention to the symbols and everything else occurring at the given time; you can especially hear it on songs like “Carry On” and Better than Colorado.

            As the album progresses you do get similar sounding riffs and parts here and there in the tracks but overall, the musicians are very impressive. Each song is very well transitioned into the next to make it flow seamlessly into one another. The album as a whole is upbeat, fast, fun frenzied and furious, however I do wish that they changed it up at times to draw a new audience into the mix.

            The song “Open Road” is a nice homage to life on the road, letting the road guide you to wherever your heart desires. It must be particularly relevant to the band that is constantly touring. “Till the Cows Come Home” was the track that I enjoyed the most off the new record with people talking and laughing in the background as the band plays, it truly creates a party like setting, which you can picture. At the end of the song, you hear someone use a lighter to light a cigarette maybe, take a drag, blow out smoke and the song ends, a great way to tie up a party track.

            I do believe that Charlie Siren will go on to do great things and be a regular on the Warped Tour circuit. With a DIY ethic and large fan base we will see more from them in the future, for sure.

Release Date: October 15, 2013
Rating: 3/5
Run Time: 25:34

Track list:
1. This is Home
2. Carry On
3. Better than Colorado
4. Sink_Swim
5. I Promise
6. Rearranging Rooms
7. Open Road
8. Til the Cows Come Home
9. Foundations
10. Rearranging Rooms (acoustic)

Charlie Siren is:
Tane Graves: Vocals/Guitar
Shelby Fisher: Bass
Paeton Gillette : Drums
Aaron Reed: Guitar
Dustin Reed: Guitar

Written By: Chelsea Conte

Review:: Norah June | Davy & Amelia

For those who like: Los Campesinos, San Cisco, Tilly & the Wall, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Something that can be said about this duo, Davy & Amelia is that they sure do love each other. The two are newlyweds with love in their hearts and passion in their songs, which is reflected in their four song EP titled Norah June after their new baby. The EP is a journey and a love story that when you press play you are along for the ride. You can feel their story progress from “The Summer” that changed their life to “Norah June” the song named after their daughter. The banjo strums seep through the songs and give a heartwarming feel to the mix. Listening to the lyrics, it is safe to assume that the album is autobiographical, and about their expedition of falling in love with one another.

The album is a sweet and simple compilation with harmonies that ring similar to those of Los Campesinos. On the first song, “In The Summer” the element of clapping arises to add percussion and fun to an already catchy song.  The following track “1,000 Miles Away” is one that causes conflict between the two lovers but they sing no matter how far away, “You’ll always stay in my heart.” The sweetness emitted from the two over the course of the album is almost too much to handle. With their next endeavor, I would hope to see more complexity and variations added into the mix balancing out the simplicity and similarity that resonates on this EP. With more of a band collaboration added in the works, this twosome could really go far.

“Moving Mountains” is most certainly my favorite track off the short album, with tambourine accompaniments giving it a sound like Tilly and the Wall’s Wild Like Children. The song is an uplifting anthem to get anyone motivated to do something they are afraid to start. Over the course of the album Norah June the listeners learns a lot about the band, and about themselves. You get this beautiful story of falling in love and overcoming obstacles that is enough to lift your spirits, and some advice for how to move on in the future. The simple and sweet sounds of Norah June are pleasant enough to warm any heart.

Release Date: November 1, 2013
Rating: 3/5
Run Time: 15:18

Track List:
1. In the Summer
2. 1,000 Miles Away
3. Moving Mountains
4. Norah June

Band Members:
Jacob Walker
Jenna Walker

Written By: Chelsea Conte