Stream Carpool’s debut LP ‘I Still Blame Everything Else’

Posted: by The Editor

I still blame everything else_Carpool

Ever since the widely debated, though ultimately accepted, emo revival of 2013ish, bands like The World Is a Beautiful Place & I am no Longer Afraid to Die, You Blew It!, The Hotelier, and Modern Baseball—all of which drove and therefore capitalized off of said revival—have taken their sounds in new yet decidedly more accessible directions. Even bands like Tiny Moving Parts and Posture & the Grizzly traded in their mathy, yelpy, sweaty brands of screamo-tinged emo on their latest projects for parred down pop-punk that’s practically saccharine in comparison. Aside from Frameworks and the recent reincarnation of Old Gray, the number of heavy emo bands vying for a seat at the Topshelf/Broken World-certified table is strikingly small.

Enter, Carpool.

The Rochester, New York quartet was born from the ashes of the primary songwriters’ former shoegaze band and borrows a member from Rochester’s premiere emo-punks, California Cousins. However, the four songs on their debut EP I Still Blame Everything Else are an entirely different creature compared to these members’ past projects. Between speedy drum fills, dizzying math riffs, and two abrasive vocalists often yelling separate parts in succession, these songs are the chaotic, heavy products of a generation inspired by Nothing, Snowing, and Touche Amore.

Though, the band isn’t just lazily mashing together their influences here. Guitarist Chris Colasanto’s vocals have the quintessential desperate emo inflection, but they’re glazed with some reverb that gives them a strange, far-off shoegazy vibe that contrasts interestingly with bassist Blake Weissinger’s throat-shredding, metallic screams. A song like “Fuck Eyes Wide Shut” feels like it could take off in any number of directions until a fuzzy riff suddenly erupts through the mix and cues a disorienting section of pounding drums, dueling vocal and guitar parts, and a series of squealing pedal effects that create uneasy tension as the track comes to a close.  Although points like this during the EP’s 15 minutes—and there are quite a few of them, as the band loves erratically shifting between twisty little jams and bouts of post-hardcore ferocity—are sometimes a bit too overwhelming, the execution is undeniably tight. Each one of these guys can play.

However, parts such as the dreamy, serene interlude track and the intense, screeching guitar lead during the breakdown of the closer show that Carpool are keen on dynamics and are capable of variety. This EP is definitely an introductory vessel for them, proving they have the chops and the innovation to contend. It’ll be interesting to see how these emo revival apprentices hone themselves going forward.

Stream I Still Blame Everything Else in full below:

Eli Enis | @eli_enis