Sound — 9
The second EP by Toronto-based duo The Carps comes roughly one year after they exploded into the R&B/Indie scene with "The Young and Passionate Days of Carpedia". On their second demo, entitled "Waves and Shambles", The Carps have evolved their original sound by simply giving more of a studio feel and adding a ton of keyboard. The six track demo opens with "Veronica Belmont", a great dancehall track named after the internet hottie. The track is the highlight of the demo and will make just about everyone want to run onto the dance floor. The EP continues with "Gretta Edris", another great track featuring some catchy bass hooks from Neil White and a complete drum freakout from Jahmal Tonge to create an oddly Michael Jackson-esque sound. And all this in the span of 3 minutes. This is followed by "Heavens Gates and Hells Flames (ReDux)", coming complete with some great rapping by guest vocalists The Cool Kids on top of some of The Carps' home-made electronic hip-hop beats. Up next is the chugging bass of the Justin Timberlake-esque "Porgy and Bess (Big Booty Girls)", which is easily the catchiest bass riff heard in a long time. Halfway through, the song gives into a keyboard frenzy before heading straight into "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames", which is simply the same track as heard earlier, but sped up and made to the Carps' own style before going into the 3 minutes of keyboard that make up "Thomas, I Love You So...", ending the 18 minutes of fury.
Lyrics — 9
While being a band who focus more on catchy hooks and chugging bass, The Carps always make lyrics that fit the songs perfect. Whether it's writing about technology and the internet on "Veronica Belmont" (it even features a reference to YouTube's Chocolate Rain) or the great "Coke and rum" rapping by The Cool Kids on "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames (ReDux)", these guys are just as good at writing great lyrics as they are at writing great music.
Overall Impression — 9
"Waves and Shambles" marks another great demo by one of music's most promising new talents. It grabs you with it's catchy beats and funky bass and never lets go through its 6 stellar tracks. While some people will always critisize them for being clones of old Death From Above, you can't deny that these guys have found the right balance between hip-hop and funk rock. The demo may end calmly compared to it's breakneck pace on the first 5 tracks, but it's enough to calm down the listener enough before he inevitably hits play again.