The Carpet Squares - The Carpet Squares
Reading the Carpet Squares' bio which outlines how they arrived at their band name (deriving from a basement studio that had carpet samples on the rafters), plus viewing the self-titled album cover (which made me think of Roswell, The X Files and spaceship crop circles in the Midwest), I was intrigued. Visiting their website, where they were asking for recommendations for a Guinness Record to break (which garnered some funny suggestions below), it's clear they have a sense of humor. Released last November, the teetering between hilarity and slyly giving social commentary about heartbreak and certain types we encounter in our daily life, helps create the entertaining earth-dwelling and extraterrestrial roadmap the listener will use throughout the album.
In the spirit of 60's folk and 70's classic rock which featured some great songs about states and cities, the album offers up ferry-riding "Long Island" and VW Beetle-road trip (in my head) inspiring "Independence, WI", which conjure up vivid imagery for the listener, emotionally tying the location to a different woman from the past. The songs are all over the musical spectrum-punk, funk, rock, folk- a little B-52s, Jamiroquai, Flaming Lips, Maroon 5, 90's WallFlowers and REM with one of the lead vocals on this record reminding me of the whine/wail of Michael Stipe. Also channeling Neil Young who eloquently described daily life straddling the bluesy folk line, the Carpet Squares also blur that line on "Saloon". But no song stands out like "Cubicle Queen", which could have been turned into a SNL short, describing a woman we've probably all encountered in 9-5 corporate America, "sweeping the mines while you're high on caffeine... plotting revenge on the copy machine". Off-center with great guitar riffs overall, the Carpet Squares are cut from great band material.
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