One of the greatest things about seeing a band live, is hearing something in the music that you didn’t before, something that moves you. The greatness of Carroll’s debut album definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed, but their performance at Mercury Lounge last week has magnified that by leaps and bounds…undeniably charming and extremely talented leaps and bounds.
Despite the happy-hour set time, the room filled up quickly with fans, new and old, impressed and excited about the sound that occupied the air. Their thankfully hefty set-list included tracks from the new album including the somehow sensual “Green Acres”, vocally heavy “Blaisdell”, mesmerizing “Jealous Eyes”, and both of their extremely infectious singles “Alligator” and “Bad Water.” Ending the set with “Boxing Day” (our personal favorite), and “Mirage”, Carroll left the crowd wanting more…a lot more.
The obvious chemistry between the Carroll boys on stage, proved to stand true off stage when they sat down with C+S in the totally unglamorous rock ‘n’ roll basement of the lower east side’s venue before their performance, and discussed music, Nebraska, and cereal.
Brian Hurlow, Max Kulicke, Charlie Rudoy, Charles McClung all hail from different parts of the country, yet were brought together by a college in Minnesota, talent, and well, probably some sort of destiny. Luckily for us, the “isolated,” “supportive”, and eclectic music scene out there has allowed Carroll to do what they do best – make music that moves. With “dark, murky, hazy sounds…restraint and subtlety“, ya boiz (as referred to by Charles) are blurring lines and combining elements between genres to set them apart, while maintaining the pop sensibility that will give them the fandom they deserve.
Recorded in an unfathomable 18 days, Carroll is impressive in how effortlessly great it sounds, and how blatantly talented these guys are. “When you’re working that fast, you don’t have a chance to go back and revise stuff…you get less time to be a perfectionist.“, says Max on the streamlined process. Lead vocalist Brian emphasized the role of “restraint and constraint” in the recording process, stating that “with infinite options comes a giant picture of possible sounds.” Yet despite their limited time, Carroll acknowledged that having more of it would’ve only taken away from the perfect imperfections and human element that make the album what it is.
“It feels like we’re doing this more professionally…whatever that means,” and whatever that does mean, we hope Carroll never stops.
CEREALS OF CARROLL
Brian: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, because like those squares, you’re crazy…talented
Max: Honey Nut Cheerios, because you can eat them barefoot
Charlie: Honey Smacks, because you’re such a sweet drummer
Charles: Life, because you like living the good life…Go Huskers!