Carney – Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia

Were it acceptable to write a review simply stating, “Wow. Just… wow!” I would. That would be totally unfair to you, the reader, so I won’t, but keep that “Just… wow!” in mind.

Los Angeles rock quartet Carney is truly a band that defies classification. Their myriad influences span many an era and genre, reigning in all the different elements of rock, pop, blues and much, much more in their live show. Band namesake and brothers Reeve (vocals, guitar) and Zane Carney (guitar), along with friends J.D. Lipscomb (bass) and Jon Epcar (drums), have been touring with Philadelphia’s The Brakes for the past month, bringing their clusterfuck of cool out of LA and into the ears of fans and first time listeners around the country.

Having recently released the Nothing Without You EP, a four-song teaser for the band’s forthcoming debut full-lengh, Carney has been generating quite a buzz and winning over fans while on tour. The industry has certainly taken notice of Carney as well, having named them the Buzz Band of this year’s Non-COMMventional Festival hosted by Philadelphia’s WXPN. Last night at Johnny Brenda’s, they successfully grabbed the attention of concert-goers, pulling in everyone from the bar to the stage with their monstrous stage presence.

Reeve’s vocals are silky and somewhat androgynous, transfixing listeners as powerful riffs emanate from his Gibson. Zane more than shreds in conjunction with Lipscomb’s pulsing bass lines and Epcar’s heavy and driving beats. Zane informs the audience that a song of theirs will be in an upcoming Ashton Kutcher (of all people) movie set to release in Summer 2009. Likening the scene to a Pulp Fiction dance sequence, I can immediately imagine Uma Thurman with her black Mia Wallace hair wiggling around in front of the stage to the very mellow groove.

It feels almost odd to say that Carney’s heavy rock, psychedelic and blues sound is refreshing (heavy and refreshing seems at odds), but it is. In a scene overrun with indie pop outfits, Carney brings a much needed new sound to the musical table drawing influences and comparisons from decades ago when rock music was larger than life as opposed to more superficial rock from a mere 5 or 10 years ago. Carney remains 100% hip while effortlessly bridging the generation gap creating music that both the current generation and their parents will love.

Catch Carney on tour as often as possible. They take great liberties with their music in its live form, improving constantly so each and every single live set is different from the one that preceded it. Needless to say, I’m totally stoked to see the next live Carney rendition, and you should be, too. And if you do catch the band live, be sure to head over to the merch table following their set and chat the guys up — they’re all ridiculously sweet and friendly!

01. Imperial Lover
02. Nothing Without You
03. Resurrection
04. Amelie
05. Mr. Green
06. Easier Said Than Done
07. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
08. Testify

Tour Dates
Jun 09 – IOTA Cafe/Arlington, Va.
Jun 10 –
Maxwell’s/Hoboken, NJ
Jun 14 –
Bonnaroo Music Festival/Manchester, Tn.

Carney: website | myspace

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