Carver City Review

artist: CKY date: 05/21/2009 category: compact discs
CKY: Carver City
Released: May 19, 2009
Genre: Post-grunge, experimental rock, alternative metal
Label: Roadrunner
Number Of Tracks: 11
The Pennsylvania alt rockers, six degrees separated from the MTV Jackass crew, survive intra-band turmoil with their latest, a conceptual opus dubbed Carver City.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 36 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8
Carver City Reviewed by: UG Team, on may 19, 2009
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: CKY almost didn't make it long enough to allow Carver City see the light of day. Internal issues plagued the writing and recording process and caused the band to put itself on hiatus, but that's all polluted water under the bridge and Carver City was eventually completed and is now upon us and looking forward is really all that matters. Carver City is one of those albums that is nearly impossible to classify; it's certainly not metal, yet metalheads are fans of the band. It's not alternative, in the traditional sense, but it's not middle-of-the-road radio rock, either. Perhaps their enigma status is to CKY's credit, even if they aren't doing it on purpose. Album opener Hellions on Parade is a chunky, guitar-launched rocker, while A#1 Roller Rager vacillates between broody and raging. There's a lot of different twists and turns, in terms of mood and tempo, on Carver City, which prevents the listener from ever getting bored or from knowing what's going to come next. // 8

Lyrics: Carver City is a concept album concerning a dark, summer vacation town where everything isn't what it seems. The band certainly takes the term and the idea of a concept album quite literally in the detailed lyrics, which the diehards will spend time pouring over to pull some meaning and understanding of the linking factors and the concept itself. And She Never Returned and The Boardwalk Body function as stories moreso than just your average songs, with lots of little details that will peak the listeners' interest. The concept is enticing enough to kidnap your attention and the subsequent execution of the stories will hold it, since the concept isn't quite so esoteric or hard to grasp. After all, it's a rock album, isn't it? CKY make the concept album appealing to the thinking man and the average Joe. // 8

Overall Impression: Carver City won't do much to clear up some of the anomalies that remain present in CKY and their music. There's a mingling of hard rock and alternative rock on most of the songs and that allows the band to appeal to a wide, diverse cross-section of subversive rockers and skate punks who want something new, different and exciting than what's currently blasting on the radio. It's not as polarizing as it may seem, since CKY appear to attract a fair amount of haters to coincide with their over-the-top, incredibly zealot fans. Overall, left-of-center rock is the beating heart of Carver City. // 8

- Amy Sciarretto (c) 2009

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8
Carver City Reviewed by: hellview_666, on may 21, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: That familiar CKY tone is here to the joy of CKY fans worldwide, and the perhaps the dismay of those who don't dig this band's type of alternative rock. It not only feels fresh but also a step back to their earlier albums, with the welcome return of the moogs and gritty sound. To me, the album seems perhaps a little too crisp production-wise, and almost a little muddled since the songs on this album give attributes to both Volume One and Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild. Not only that but this is dubbed by the band themselves as a concept album of a fictitious holiday location named 'Carver City'; a place that may seem nice and pleasant but a lot of bad stuff happens, with that 80s horror film twist they got their name from. A 'concept album for dummies' this is not however, as the songs here in are skilled and catchy. // 8

Lyrics: Lyrically, this is CKY through and through. Perhaps a CKY that we haven't heard in a long while, not since Infiltrate and Volume One (once again to reiterate the point). Even vocally, Deron Miller (lead vocalist and guitarist) has come into his own, with his range going from heartfelt lows to screaming highs and deep growls. The only gripe is that maybe Chad I Ginsburg (album producer/lead guitarist) may have tweaked with his vocals a little too much to gain that extra layer of weirdness. It wasn't really needed at all but this is a band that do things their own way and strive to keep it that way. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm going to be honest; I am a CKY fan. Have been since 2003. But I'm also a musician with an ear for what sounds good or bad, so here I am going to be totally unbiased. I do actually like this album, and like most CKY records and songs, it's one that people will either love or hate. The same tone and riffage is here, to the satisfaction of CKY fans worldwide - heavy gain, punchy rythmns, the familiar octave and moogs. It's a sound that CKY are based in and won't ever change. However, there is something else in this new album - maturity. Having had a near internal breakdown of the band, this album very nearly didn't get a release. And I'm glad that this moment of agression and weakness actually shook them up to create one good album...and it's a concept album at that too. Like most albums I do have instant faves; this album's faves would have to be those that tip a nod to the Volume One era of CKY ('Woe Is Me', 'Plagued By Images'). I've dug the Volume One atmosphere and these songs capture that again. Tracks I do dislike are 'Rats In The Infirmary' and 'The Era Of An End'. Don't get me wrong, these tracks are technically brilliant and set an atmosphere and scene, but they don't feel that CKY to me..but that may be a part of the maturity of the band, even showing that they've most likely listened to their influences a little more and created some good tunes. The dumb question is that 'if it was ever stolen, would I buy it again?' - I'd hunt down the guy who stole it, give them a beating, and get it back...that or I would make sure it was never ever stolen. I got the special edition with 4 bonus tracks (the only one available at HMV in the UK), and even the bonus tracks are up there in my favourite songs from this album. I would recommend this album if you want to try something different or odd without straying too far away from metal/alternative rock. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.7
Carver City Reviewed by: MR. Goodcents, on may 21, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Obviously the album has that classic and unmistakable CKY sound. Crunchy guitars, synths, driving drums. The choruses really stood out on Carver City compared to their other albums. They just flow perfectly and will have you singing along to "Hellions on Parade" or "Rats in The Infirmary" The album sounds like it has a very studio sound to it with lots of overdubbing and effects added in production. However this has always been part of the CKY sound and adds to the eerie vibe of the album. You can really hear a growth in the band from AACBF, better guitars, vocals, drums, and just overall production. // 10

Lyrics: The album tells the story of a summer day in Carver City a city of bad luck and misfortune. The lyrics help to portray this eerie vibe, and tell the stories of the horrific events that took place. This album is the catchiest CKY album, with perfect choruses that keep you humming. Deron's vocals fit with the theme perfectly with his growls, screams. His style of singing helps to set the mood of the song giving "Woe is Me" and wailing sort of deathly tone, then switching to an upbeat and dance singing style on "A#1 Roller Rager" // 9

Overall Impression: CKY continue to outdo themselves and continually create near perfect albums that never lull at any point. CKY has almost been reborn after a near break-up and signing to Roadrunner Records where their album will finally get the support it deserves. CKY is like no other band both musically and in how they interact with their fans. I bought the regular album today, but will probably be ordering a signed special edition one as well. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.3
Carver City Reviewed by: Elsammio99, on may 21, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 8

Lyrics: 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 // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear