Right off the bat, I’ll tell you what I like about Carnivores, an Atlanta-based band that just released its debut LP “All Night Dead USA” with homegrown record label Double Phantom. It is the acceptance of the fluidity of consciousness.
Carnivores embraces the fusion of personalities within a single entity that is the basis of so much confusion in our personal and social lives. Because we are complex creatures. Right? “All Night Dead USA” is the identity crisis we have on a daily basis, a struggle to place ourselves in the world around us, trying to find out how similarly and differently two minds can be at any moment in time and space.
The album’s mood is all over the place but is mostly smooth sailing. It’s kind of like channel surfing through nothing but midnight movies. Starting off with “For Griffin” we experience a lighter side of the band. Distorted yet complex harmonics set the mood for a dreamy summer night that has a hint of Beach Boys. But shifts dramatically to something more reminiscent of “The Beach Boys and The Satan” (It’s real, look it up) as we shift to a deep anonymous voice saying “So this is how it feels to be dead” a la monster mash.
From here on out, each track melts into the other, like a slipping helplessly through a psychedelic trip. It’s nothing short of exhilarating.
But it smooths itself out every now and again so that nothing is too stressful for the listener. It’s like a relatively pleasant life that is sprinkled with a few freakouts, a few bouts of manic reaction against the self and/or the selves of others. And what’s wrong with that? Why can’t we react and make fools of ourselves if it’s our prerogative. It’s okay to take ourselves out of comfort zones. It’s okay to be incompetent so long as we have a point. I think. I don’t know.
Even in the breakdowns and freak-outs, Carnivores remains perfectly in control. The foursome works well with each individual, building on each other to create a unique musical experience. Blending lo-fi tropicalia with pop-punk sensibilities, the band is different without being too busy. It’s just wonderful trip through our personal awareness of life, death, sex and necrophilia.
Is that weird? Does that seem too challenging? Too simplistic? Maybe. But it’s okay, because this is what we do. It’s our job to engage ourselves and to experience alternative perspectives. It’s okay if I make melodramatic or simplistic conjectures. They are mine to make and yours to react to.