For starters, Carpenter is a DIY rock and roll/roots/punk band from the Vancouver area. The sound is classic rock with a punk and late ’90s emo feel to it.They are also big advocates of self-reliant farmers that promote sustainable farming practices. This topic, along with personal events are what frontman, Daniel Sioui mostly draws from. Quite frankly, Carpenter is writing honest, straight from the heart music that is raw, energetic, and very catchy. The album, Sea to Sky is a quick album compiling 10 songs in just over 30 minutes.
The album starts off very strong with “Mean Things.” This song is instantly catchy and is perhaps, a bit unconventional for an opener, but definitely works. Siousi and Ryan Howlett add to the song’s hook with their guitar parts. It is in the running for best songs on the album. “Common Law” follows and like the opener has lyrics that are easy to relate to and seem to tell a story. There are also some nice female guest vocals towards the middle elevating the song to another level. “Just Another Friday Night” is a slower tempo song that vocally, feels like a Saves the Day song. Instrumentally the song has a folk/country feel to it with the slide guitar parts. This is was also the first song that has a John Mellencamp feel to it.
Do not let “Long Hard Day” fool you as it is a straight rock and roll song that is very catchy and features some cool gang vocals along with a nice little solo. This one will also draw Mellencamp and Springsteen comparisons and for good reason. “Northern Exposure” is more of an anthem-style punk song that has still has the storytelling aspect going on. This song is closer to style most of these members came from such as Daggermouth. “One Horse Town” is another great song that is so infectious with its chorus. The music and lyrics are all great. There is an obvious throwback, but yet modern sound going on here and the solo to close the song is much appreciated.
“Separate” is a straight forward rock song that has a pulsating beat provided by drummer JJ Heath and Dana Edwards on bass. The extra vocal layers towards the end of the song also add a cool dynamic along with the gang vocals. “Joan” is the slowest song on the album and has some emo-influenced lyrics. It plays like a less heavy ’90s emo song and is a good bridge before the album closes out.
“You Might Be Right” is an upbeat song that has gang vocals that are reminiscent of Brand New’s Devil and God are Raging Inside Me. This song is pure energy and fits perfectly near the end making the listener want to listen the whole way through. The album closer, “I Put My Heart in Everything” pretty much sums up this record and the band as a whole. The song itself is more on the upbeat side and straight rock and roll. It works well as the closer because it builds up and then just ends at what appears to be the climax of the song. While some may not like it, it really has a live show ending feel to it. This album plays like a live concert. The opener is strong, the energy is there throughout, there is one slower song near the end, and they close on high note.
Overall, this is a really really good record. My one regret is that I did not find out about this sooner. When listening to this record, bands/artists like Hot Water Muisc, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Latterman, Saves the Day, and Texas is the Reason will come to mind. The passion, honesty, and energy is so prevalent that it is hard to not take notice. These guys are blue collar rock and rollers that know what they want to do and have a plan. They also execute it well. Whether you back them or not they are determined to make it with or without you. While there are some other bands doing a punk rock and classic rock sound, no one is doing it like Carpenter. Do yourself a favor and jump on this release.