Carousels and Limousines - Home To Andy’s (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
THEY may hail from Bath but rock outfit Carousels and Limousines boast a sound more akin to the likes of Bruce Springsteen and The Gaslight Anthem.
Debut album Home To Andy’s is a hugely accomplished record that’s steeped in classic songwriting values and easily catchy records. It also boasts a sound that should be equally as comfortable on either side of the Atlantic.
What’s instantly notable (and likeable) about it, too, is the confidence. This is the sound of a band clearly aiming high from the outset. And it’s the sound of a band that want to fill stadiums and already have the songs to do so.
What’s more, they can mix the big moments with the smaller ones, too, ending the album with a song named after themselves and delivering a killer, harmonica-soaked ballad that’s just really, really good. Bluesy, heartfelt and brooding in all the right ways, Carousels and Limousines is a gob-smackingly good final song.
They open with the title track, Home To Andy’s, which has an instantly feel-good quality to it. The song opens with a catchy guitar hook before laying down a good-time rock ‘n’ roll track that’s embellished by a gutsy set of vocals. You’ll be nodding along in appreciation in no time at all!
This momentum is maintained on the melody-strewn rock of One & Only (a driving anthem if ever there was one) and 17s, which drops a stop-start guitar intro and a set of vocals that Spingsteen fans would be hard pushed not to think belonged to The Boss himself.
If the majority of the album belongs in classic American rock territory, then evidence of their diversity, instrumentally, is to be found on Access Denied, which drops a guitar sound that’s more grunge-based (and Pearl Jam-esque), albeit with a crowd-pleasing “woo-hoo” harmony that’s geared towards live favouritism, while Spider is a bluesy, brooder of a record that has a harder, grittier sound more akin to Kings of Leon or even ZZ Top. It’s also sexy and dangerous too.
The blues sound returns for another favourite, Maria, which boasts some of the most distinct, classic-sounding and thrilling guitar work on the record (while dropping a terrifically moody song to boot). while Greasy Hands (a little earlier) succeeds in posting early notice of their ballad skills… opening with a melancholy organ sound and ushering in a gruff, yet fragile set of vocals and a doozy of a tale that’s well worth listening to.
Indeed, there’s really not much to dislike on this LP. It’s a pleasure to hear and serves potent notice of a terrific new band. Let’s hope it does great things for them.
Watch the video for Spider:
Watch the video for 17s:
Download tracks: Home To Andy’s, 17s, Greasy Hands, Spider, Maria, Carousels & Limousines