“Too Much, Never Enough” – The Carnabys

4 stars (out of 5)

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Carnabys ScrollerLet me just say this from the start; we like The Carnabys here at Riot Towers, we like them a lot. We like the melodies, we like the two guitars playing off each other, we like the variety of the rhythms, we like Jack Mercer’s lyrics and we love the incredible energy that’s injected into each and every song.

You can look at influences as far back as the beat boom groups of the sixties, but the sound of the suburban power pop bands of the late seventies/early eighties (and I’m including The Jam in that) resonates strongly in the sound of The Carnabys. And finally, Jack Mercer’s lyrics bring the contemporary edge to the songs with tales of life in the modern metropolis. The songs are about people, real people, people you can believe in, people you could bump in to in the pub or down the shops. The people that appear in songs by Jamie T, Mike Skinner and Akira the Don.

“Too Much, Never Enough” sounds like it  was meant to capture the band’s fresh, spiky and exuberant live sound without squashing the dynamics too much, and it’s worked a treat. The single “Elizabeth” pulses along, powered by Ben Gittins and Frankie Connolly’s guitars alternating beats from the left and right of the stereo spectrum and punctuated by an almost a cappella breakdown, while the album’s opener, the slightly surreal “Great Dane in the Graveyard” (a true-ish story) is so fast it could easily fall apart if the guitars weren’t so locked in to James Morgan’s frenetic drums and Mike Delizo’s pounding bass. This is a band in the proper sense of the word. They create a glorious noise by playing together; no big guitar solos, no egos, everyone plays a part in creating each perfectly-crafted little suburban story.

Special mentions as well for “Peaches and Bleach” which in Jack’s words is about ‘working on something important and someone else inadvertently fucking it up’, the self-harm and self-denial of “Scars and Safety Pins” and “Down He Goes”, the story of a friend of the band who finds trouble whether he looks for it or not; apparently he has a glass jaw as well. Not a great combination.

No glass jaws, Achilles’ heels or cauliflower ears for “Too Much , Never Enough”, though. It’s arms of iron, tapping toes and brass necks all the way.

“Too Much, Never Enough” is out Friday August 19th or you can still pre-order here. All profits from pre-order sales go to the Music Venue Trust.

Here’s the video for the current single “Elizabeth”: