I mentioned these chaps ages ago, and now it is time to properly review the album, rather than simply acting all excited because something came from nowhere and blew up all over my inbox. I’ve actually given the album a bit of a break since then, but sticking it on the stereo once more it is still a thundering bloody joy of an album.
There’s something, I certainly will confess, slightly preposterous about Carbeth. It’s probably due to the exaggeratedly anachronistic sound, so strongly reminiscent of last 60s/early 70s psych folk. It’s just so unashamed in placing itself in that era, my first thought was a somewhat incredulous ‘Are these guys serious?‘
Maybe that’s why I love this album so much, though. It knows exactly what it is, and proceeds to cavort about the place and flaunt its eccentricity with such carefree abandon that I end up just giggling at its cheek and turning the stereo up really fucking loud, just to enjoy it all the more.
Seeing them live, the engine room of this band is Alex Neilson, the drummer. I was at one of their first live shows, so they may well have evolved a little since then, but he seemed like the only really obvious performer of the group at the time – the one most likely to become the focal point which I felt their live show needed, just to hold things together. Listen to the record, and Lavinia Blackwall’s gorgeous vocals (she’s also in the brilliant Pendulums), and the guitar of Ben Reynolds come more to the fore, helping to create that swirling euphoria as the songs build to climax.
I know it’s unlikely to ever be a fashionable album but, honestly, I think this is superb. It actually makes me want to be a hippy, dress in Laura Ashley and take a shitload of mushrooms. Alright, maybe only the latter, but it really is good.