CAREFREE - Emoskapunk

Carefree - Emoskapunk

14+5 songs
72:24 minutes
***** ****
Winged Skull


I have been nagging for weeks at Jeff, the singer of Carefree. Whenever I saw him at a concert, I asked about when their debut album is due to be released. After he couldn't stand it anymore, he just handed me over an advance. It didn't have a definite cover artwork yet, so that's why there's no cover to the left of this review, but the music itself is already promising a lot.

As Carefree have been playing (and will be in the future) a lot of concerts in the past, most people should be familiar with their sound already, but for those who aren't yet, I'll try to explain it in two ways. The easy one is to take the album title Emoskapunk literally, although that's not doing them justice for most of the time, and the hard way is to imagine a combination of all possible independent music styles that have been around for the last 10 to 300 years. Yes, the intro has been taken straight from Bach (no sample, but played by their keyboarder), and as for the rest of the album, you get a nice mix of emo, punk, ska, post rock and even polka in one song. If you are afraid now that this might be too much for you to handle, just remember a band like Mr. Bungle who also knew how to be eclectic as fuck and still never lose the thread of a song.

Of course you get well known titles like Come Join the Army!?, quirky bits like La Moska, oddities like Polka, progressive punk like Corrida or slow core like Panther Rodriguez, which is also a nod to Tiger Fernandez. The overall impression you get is (and that's now very subjective) a saddened Ramones, which is mostly because of Jeff's vocals that have the tendency to sound at times really unconcerned, which adds to the originality of the music. The only negative point is that the many influences make it sometimes hard to get a result as homogenous as one may wish, but that's not really bad.

After the 14 regular songs which run for 53 minutes (not bad a time for an emoskapunk album), you get nearly 20 minutes of encores in the form of a 2000 version of Come Join The Army!? plus three really old pieces from 1998, when the band was at the very beginning of their existence. Interesting lo-fi stuff, especially the 7-minutes long The Next Generation and the pre-version of Come Join The Army!?. This means that the latter song is presented in 3 different versions on the album, which makes for a nice work in progress.

Anyway, I have been going on long enough about this advance. I don't know if the retail version of the album will contain all the bonus material (I guess it will though), but you should be looking out for the album to be out sometime in June. 9 big points should be reason enough to get this album.

Added part of the review: 3 months later... and I finally got the regular version which was released early July 2002. There is not much more to add, except that the cover layout is very tasteful, the bonus tracks are still part of the retail version, and that this is one of the most interesting and original releases coming from a newcomer band in Luxembourg. Too bad that Carefree apparently will soon stop playing together, but let's hope that these fine musicians will stay around in other good bands. Do buy the album for the music and as a legacy to their existence.

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