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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | SELF

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | SELF
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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Carnation - Gone (Single)"

Carnation have been playing hard in the last year, getting favourable media attention and lots of love and praise from the fans at their live shows. So understandably, there is much anticipation about the new EP that will be released on 14 August 2010 at Fad Gallery in Melbourne.

Gone is the first single off the upcoming EP, their sophomore release. From the first note, you know you'll like this song. It's catchy with a brilliant pace, and you can tell it would be great to rock out to live. Gone has a very old school 80s rock feel, but not in a pretentious way. It's genuine new Australian music. I think the single is brilliant, and I greatly look forward to the EP.

While the whole band contributes to the vibe of the track, its ability to imprint itself on your memory is largely due to the vocals of Josh Monte. His smooth, melodic tones don't sound particularly Australian; rather they are quite unique. You will end up singing this chorus in your head long after you've turned off the stereo.

The softer acoustic sounds of the B-side are cool and I'd be interested in hearing what this band can do with the full version of the song. However, I don't think it's a great choice of B-side, so I'm restricting my review score to Gone.

Review Score: 8.5/10 - The AU Review

"Gone - Carnation (single)"

Carnation are a Melbourne psychedelic indie rock band. Sorry, THE Melbourne psychedelic indie rock band.

This new single 'Gone' is the first taste off a sophomore EP following later this year. It follows a successful self-titled debut EP and a host of packed shows including the widely acclaimed Titanic and Titanic Deux boat parties.

Unfortunately the debut EP didn't quite capture the energetic party vibe of their live show, instead sounding more like Jim Morrison in an opium den.

Cool, but without any will or ability to do anything but sway and watch the pretty colours.

Any Carnation gig will see fans dancing in front of the giant fan that is Carnation blowing them away. 'Gone' has seized that energy, canned it, stomped it flat, and underfoot this CD was found.

The track barrages the ears from the get go, with a wall of guitars spiraling all over the place and dark and dreamy vocals. Drums and bass keep you grounded with a tribal pulse that gets the head nodding and antsy feet kicking stuff.

The 'Gone' video clip shows Carnation's fondness for kaleidoscopes splitting the screen in half with a mirror effect as the band play and a girl dances.

Everything melds in the middle in a display that will please your visual senses too.

Also on the single is a cute acoustic version of 'Skyfallsapart' that veers more to the psychedelic with echo-y vocals and a very Oasis-like guitar riff.

Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the rest of the EP, but if you can't wait true to form they've always got a gig happening that you can whet your appetite at. - The Dwarf

"Carnation (Titanic)"

It’s not a stretch to say that the vast majority of those on board were there to see the headliners. Carnation – hosting their second show on water – entered the stage by walking straight through the crammed upper deck, the partisan crowd at absolute fever pitch for the evening’s stars. Opening with a rumbling drum beat and thunderous bass and guitar drone, the lyric free intro seeped into the collective subconscious without warning. The band let the adoring crowd know who was boss with the follow up tune Gone, a preview off Carnation’s upcoming EP and an almost certainty to be a radio hit. With a Joy Divisionesque loop marauding in the shadows, this hook laden firecracker certainly had the desired effect, lifting any remaining doubters to their feet and onto the tiles. – œCome and stop me now, before I take a slash’, a distressed vocal wrapped in an upbeat package, this three minutes of pure perfection is sure to assault both the eardrums and airwaves this year.

Next up was a track that simply compelled the listener to take notice. Vitriolic in nature, Judas was reminiscent of both The Smiths and The Doors. Simmering vocal aside, the highlight was the effortless slide guitar work and seething chemistry on stage. This tune saw Carnation in their element, five guys playing off every note, the subtleties of the performance not lost on the viewer.

Melbourne crowds, may be notorious for their constant chin stroking and general lethargy, but not on this night. That myth was rudely scorched with the opening riff of Mystery One, the crowd in unison in its praise of the foot-stomper. On and on it went, the guitar-driven bedlam accompanied by duelling vocals to close, the response both immediate and enduring.

The finale, 2012, a hybrid bastard child combining the baggy beats of The Stone Roses with the foreboding and Shamanism that characterised Jim Morrison’s best work, saw a stage rush, prompting frontman Josh Monte into the crowd mid verse. As the guitar wailed and the drum steadied, a glut of humanity was taunted to the dais. This was as insane as it gets, the singer crammed between breathless fans all dancing wildly, easily worth the price of admission alone. – œWe’re gonna burn down the town, burn it to the ground’ was the vocal accompaniment to the mayhem, as fitting as it was disarming. This many people can’t be wrong, and it was high time to join the fracas. Pirouetting around a makeshift dancefloor mightn’t be the best way to cover yourself in glory, but this was an opportunity too good to refuse, a full-on all-in, band and listeners as one in the ecstasy of the moment.

So it was, Carnation proving that they can indeed walk on water, ripping up the stage and letting all and sundry know that they’re determined to make 2010 their year. After that display, it’d be a brave man to doubt them. - Faster Louder

"Titanic - Carnation"

The night’s organisers Carnation opened their set with a not so humbling thought: “If this should sink, you guys know how to swim, right?” A couple of slowly bobbing heads started acting a little anxious, glancing nervously towards the city skyline, kilometres and kilometres away, and only barely visible through the stormy tempest. By now, the-little-tug-boat-that-could was floating somewhere in the middle of Port Phillip Bay. However, any nerves were calmed by Carnation’s smooth, transcendent shoe-gaze psychedelia.

Much more subdued than The Process’s set, Carnation showed an graceful cool that only time can bring. It takes a lot of effort to look that effortless. Despite harrowing vocals from Josh Monte, it was clearly lead guitarist Mick Squire that was captaining the Carnation boat. The man must have been born with a pick in his fingers, because no one can possibly look that natural with a guitar. Song by song, they grew on the audience like barnacles until they revealed the pearl that was their final song, 2012. Showing their one and only burst of obvious exertion, they well and truly rocked the boat. By the end, Pete Carnation had upturned the drum kit, and Monte was lying passed out amongst the amps. Style. - Faster Louder

"CARNATION – Carnation EP"

Melbourne four-piece discover something special within the realms of psychedelic musings.

To showcase as many stylistic techniques and ideas as you can on an album and still retain a sense of a cohesive, signature sound is one thing, but to achieve it on an EP: now that’s talent. Rising from their kaleidoscopic leanings is Carnation’s debut release, delving into funk and psychedelic rock without losing sight of the bigger picture. In fact, the psychedelic aspect of Carnation’s music is used as a tool to elevate the songs from their derivative nature rather than as a gimmick. [Wait, isn't that the definition of a gimmick? - JS.] The bongo that underpins Up All Night Long is a perfect example, as is the strings that sweep along beneath Two Lovers (With The Light On). These little nuances create a lush sense of dynamics; Carnation’s signature style becomes the dark, brooding timbre that throbs and pulses throughout it like a melancholic heart.



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




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