Karvel – Assorted Demos

A misty mesh of melancholia 

(listen here)

Recommended Tracks: ‘End Of The Night‘, ‘You Don’t Look The Same Anymore‘, ‘The Sun Song‘.

Karvel are a three-piece rock group from the UK, comprised of Joe Mallory-Skinner (guitar, vocals), Ben Soan (bass) and Tom Wood (Drums). They have no releases as such, but a wade through their scattered collection of recordings proves to be beyond fruitful. Having only been around for a few years at the most, they have already made a name for themselves in the alternative rock scene -playing a myriad of venues and teaming up with big-name-producers, Karvel are surely on the rise.

Their music appears to borrow from the 90’s seattle sound popularised by bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains etc. Although this trashy presence in their music is notable, Karvel eschew the lo-fi quality for helpings of reverb and delay, amalgamating into what sounds like a brawl between shoegaze and grunge, with both somehow coming out the victor. Certainly a difficult blend to pull off, but Karvel manage to healthily balance their ‘uncleanliness’ and their sparseness to form a powerful wall of sound.

Tracks like ‘You Don’t Look The Same Anymore‘ and ‘End Of The Night’ seem to hint at the melancholy, with disparate backing vocals and hopelessly daunting soundscapes, carved by harmonies that one might find themselves lost in. Whilst retaining this sorrowful mood, Karvel manage to keep the pace up. There is a definite sense of angst and energy, akin to that of their grungier predecessors, with the dreamy guitars providing a cleansing layer to the mix, a blanket, so to speak, comfortingly shrouding the sound.

However, not all of Karvel’s songs are in this vein, ‘The Sun Song‘ for example, features esoteric nods towards post-rock, with hefty helpings of eastern scales and melodies. In fact, Karvel’s tracks (albeit hard to find) appear to be of a wide variety, but all find themselves safely within the limits of the three-piece rock band.

My only complaint with Karvel is their possible ‘over-production’- more of a natural sound would be a great improvement, without the influence of the large scale producers who feature in their recordings- nevertheless, Karvel certainly have a large enough (and hidden enough!) collection of songs to keep one happily amused until their album-debut. Their wide spread of tracks to be found on the net indicate that we can expect a lot of good things from these guys.

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