Thursday, September 20, 2012

Album Review: I Am Carpenter - My God Clara

Album Rating: A
If this year has shown us anything, it's that music, in all of its different forms, just keeps getting better and better.  Everywhere you look, bands and labels alike keep putting out phenomenal albums, and thanks to the internet, the bulk of them are receiving a fair amount of recognition.  However, there's still a small amount of bands that come out of nowhere with an incredible album, and aren't being mentioned nearly enough.  Such is the case with I Am Carpenter's debut full length, My God Clara, a genre-bending album that somehow incorporates everything that's great in bands like Balance & Composure, O'Brother, and Manchester Orchestra, while still capturing a sound that is completely their own.

For the most part, I Am Carpenter puts forth an impressive amount of indie/punk hardcore, with vocals that at times border the line of screamo.  Right from the start of the album with "Dear Clara" and "Mercy", you're thrown into I Am Carpenter's dark and muddy style, with overall huge sounding guitar tones and likewise vocal delivery.  But that's just the tip of the iceberg.  They expand in this style by adding a penchant for writing lengthy anthems that seem to get better the further into the album you get.  "You Might Be Right" and "Utah" are two prime examples, but are definitely not the only ones.  Every track has an excessive amount of  emotional output; it's how they convey it that is always changing.  I can't imagine the time and effort they put into composing such diverse and moving songs, but it truly paid off.  The transitions between indie and punk tendencies are seemingly effortless, and all the more impressive for that fact.

There's more to I Am Carpenter than just gritty punk/indie rock, though.  All of today's best bands have a knack for transitioning between genres effortlessly, and My God Clara is no exception.  With songs like "Bones", we see them going in a far more laid back direction, writing incredibly moving indie ballads that rival artists like Andy Hull.  In fact, Steven Cathcart's vocals are so charismatic and compelling that after a couple of listens, it's hard not to sing along wholeheartedly.

I Am Carpenter made a statement, saying that "this album is full of our blood, sweat, and tears. For about a year we worked hard to deliver the best product we could."  As soon as more people start catching onto My God Clara, I'm confident that everyone will agree that they succeeded in doing so, and that it will be regarded as one of 2012's best kept secrets.  This album conatins some of the most gritty, emotional, and all around passionate music I've heard all year.

To hear for yourself, it's up for streaming and purchase through Bessie Pro Records.  You can also still download their 2011 release, Borders, for free on their Bandcamp.




1. Dear Clara
2. Mercy
3. You Might Be Right
4. Bones
5. Future Black Tongues
6. Utah
7. Fights
8. Girls Names
9. Welcome Home
10. Pity
11. Comfort Me
12. Postcards

1 comment:

  1. You guys were great at the show last night, I am very impressed with you guys, keep it up!