Sound — 8
CKY have always been an undervalued band in the eyes of many of their fans and for good reason. With their trademark darkly melodic, chunky vibe married to some of the catchiest riffs around it would seem like a foregone conclusion for the Pennsylvania natives to be hitting the heights of success 4(5?) albums into their career. Part of the reason they've been denied the so called 'big-time' despite a consistently solid output (not to mention an affiliation with one of the skating worlds most iconic figures in Bam Margera) is in part due to the dithering of the band's one time label and 'creative anchor'; Island/ Def Jam. Having signed a deal with Roadrunner records as of Dec 2006 and overcome a number of internal issues the band returns to the music scene in 2009 with Carver City, one of their most polished efforts to date. Described by the band as having more in common with their trademark 'dark summer vacation vibe' present on their early efforts than 2005's guitar driven 'An Answer Can Be Found' the band has certainly succeeded in this aim. Where the record falls down somewhat when compared to some of the band's other stellar offerings is in it's 'difficulty of digestion'. Whereas Volume , Infiltrate Destory Rebuild and even Deron and Jess's previous efforts with 'Foreign Objects' offered up an immediate hit of easily recognizable yet surprisingly deep riffage, Carver City fails just as AACBF did to make an immediate impact. True, the album goes on to reveal layers of complexity upon further listens, but many fans may feel as though part of CKY's magic and knack for the killer riff has been lost as the group has matured. The album is by no means a poor effort, quite the opposite in that it proves the group capable of so much more than its radio friendly competition. Again CKY have certainly proven to be nothing of the one trick pony its detractors claim of it, but as the group continues to grow, i have the sneaking suspicion that both Carver City and its immediate predecessor might come to be associated with the kind of musical shift towards evolution that some fans might find unwelcome.
Lyrics — 9
Deron Miller's vocals are much stronger for this effort than they have ever been before, allowing him to make full use of his trademark strained, ethereal roars (which can only be a good thing). Download 'Imaginary Threats' to see just what I mean by this developing style, a progression the singer has spoken about making ever since his first EP's were blasted for their then weak vocals. As usual Deron's lyrics echo the bands own vibe, being both dark and approachable at the same time. Plus it's always nice to follow a recurring theme as a band progresses, wether it be between individual albums or indeed particular songs on the same record. Carver City fulfills both of these templates, being as it is something of a concept album. The Boardwalk Body's connection to 'And She Never returned...' as well as Hellions on Parade continuatio of the entire Hellview storyline are nice touches to see for a fan
Overall Impression — 8
Again in comparison with CKY's earlier efforts I'd have to say that it's just not quite the same kind of product which brought me headfirst into the Alternative and Metal scenes all those years ago as it's predecessors did but it's a great album all the same. My Favourite songs on the album are... 01.Hellions on Parade (why isnt this the lead single!) 02.A1 Roller Rager 03.Rats in the Infirmary 04.And she never returned... I hope this review has been informative to whoever takes the time out to give it a read.