Melbourne, Victoria, AUS

Taking influences from places as varied as Manchester and Los Angeles, this explosive five-piece has shaped a sound reminiscent of The Doors at their peak coupled with the undeniable swagger of the Hacienda’s halcyon days!



It’s testament to a band’s tenacity to be able to reinvent themselves without losing momentum. It’s testament to their drive to finally find what they’re looking for after years of searching. It’s testament to their groove and their sonic power though, that they’re able to rope you in and make you sit and take notice of what they’re laying down, and this is where Melbourne five-piece, Carnation, are staking their claim.

From 2007, Carnation hit the ground running. “We had seven gigs booked before we’d even played our first,” says lead guitarist, Micky. It was a whirlwind opening year for the band indeed, culminating in late 2008 with the release of their debut, eponymous EP, a grand statement that showed the band for who they were, although perhaps it wasn’t as obvious to some.

“People ask you what you sound like and who your influences are and whatever, and we did get into music more because of Brit Pop because that’s what we were listening to when we were 15 or 16,” explains Micky. “But when you listen to us, you can’t hear any of that. A lot of people come up to us and say, ‘Whoa, Stone Roses’, or ‘The Doors’, but we really have so many influences…you end up getting pigeonholed.” This is correct; there was that Manchester sound to Carnation’s early shows and indeed, that debut EP.

However, this is where the reinvention and drive come in. Since late 2008, the band have undergone somewhat of a sonic shift. They’ve found their feet, they’ve solidified their base, and at this point in their career, it’s fair to say that Carnation have found their sound – a lower, dirtier sound, mired in psychedelia, in rock n’ roll, in the bottom end of the musical spectrum.

“You could say back in the early days it was rawer, more in your face, whereas now whilst there’s still that massive wall of sound, it’s a little more developed,” muses drummer, Pete. “And yeah, it does have that psychedelic feel to it, and I think it’s more spatial, plus there are a few added instruments in there too.” One reason for this sonic shift was the introduction of bassist, Dan, another being the band’s primal desire to move forward.

“Yeah, I don’t like sitting on a certain aspect of sound, if you’ve done something, you do it once and you move on,” concurs Micky. “If you create something new, and that happens to involve a bongo loop or a synth in there, then it’s moving and evolving into something different.”

“With the introduction of Dan, he matched the vision that the band (Josh/vocals, Garrett/rhythm guitar, Micky and Pete) had,” adds Pete. “And my drumming styles, they kind of changed to match him, that rhythmic, dashy flow…and that spatial element, Dan’s playing matched it really well, so it was really good timing to have him come in when he did.” This sonic evolution has been a natural one for Carnation. The drive of the band, their will to succeed, has led them to where they need to be right now, and where that is, is releasing their second EP, one which is truly indicative of what they’re up to – 12.21.12.

“It’s the culmination of playing live, of something happening with the live show,” Micky mused. “It’s a product of us getting better.” Even a cursory listen will confirm that. Carnation’s debut was a snapshot, a moment in time for the band, but it’s a moment they’ve left behind, much like the Brit Pop, Manchester tags of their early days. 12.21.12 is Carnation displaying the tenacity necessary to reinvent their sound without losing momentum. 12.21.12 is Carnation showing the drive needed to nail what they’ve been looking for since their inception. Mainly though, it’s the groove and the sonic power that Carnation have made their own that makes 12.21.12 stand up as a beacon, heralding what’s to come. Its early days here, and Carnation are far from finished.

Samuel J. Fell


Single 'Up All Night Long'
Single 'Gone'
EP '12.21.12'

Set List

Coming Down
Two Lovers (With The Lights Off)
Mystery #1
The Future
Tell Me I'm Wrong