CD Review: Carousel Kings – “Charm City” (Victory Records)

Combining the youthful pop-punk platitudes of Fall Out Boy’s Take This To Your Grave and the more polished predilections of Mayday Parade’s A Lesson In Romantics (with a tip of the cap to the lighter side of A Day To Remember), Carousel Kings’ Victory Records debut Charm City delivers more than a few tracks worthy of an audible double-take (the band puts all their cards on the table right off the rip with “Grey Goose” – a galloping bass drum backbone, shredding guitars and unmistakable hooks, which they showcase in vein on the near brilliant “Glory Daze,” “Hate Me, Love Me” emotes a distinct Blink-182 vibe, the heartfelt and pop leaning “Unconditionally” is more than ready to takeover radio airwaves, frontman David Alexander does his best Jeremy McKinnon on heavy-hitting standout “Fractals,” “Fool’s Gold” is classic pop-punk – hopeful and endearing with just the right amount of glossy sheen). “Dynamite,” the heaviest offering here, is a surprising change of pace for Charm City, dabbling in soaring post-hardcore at times while still remaining true to the rest of the album’s pop-punk sensibilities. Charm City gets a bit too cute for its own good at times, causing some tracks to fade into the background, but the good is really good, making for an album that stands above many others in the oft-overcrowded pop-punk game.  

Grade: B+

Go Download: “Dynamite”