Vancouver is the most recent stop on Canada's thriving punk/hardcore scene, the magical place where Smallman's indie-rock/pop-punk act Carpenter hails from. From a mainstream pop perspective, songwriting has taken a backseat to flashy costumes and endless, repetitive onslaughts of mindless hooks.
Carpenter does their best to change all that with well-constructed songs, thought-out and passionate lyrics and fun, hooky riffs. The recipe seems to work; 2010's Sea to Sky is a provocative album that melds the lines between punk, classic rock, indie, country and pop stylings. Hitting home consistently, the album may be a bit less edgy than the group's earlier offering (2008's Law of the Land) but it's production helps make the band more accessible to a mainstream audience while validating its style.
The best tracks on this one include the opening "Mean Things," a song that sets the tone for the album, the ballad "Joan" and "You Might Be Right," a frantic anthem chock-full of oddly-placed but effective gang vocals. Check out "Mean Things" below.
"And you don't have to say those mean things / when you curse me out on the end of the telephone." - Carpenter, "Mean Things"