Rochester quartet Carpool combine the urgency and emotion of emo with the washy bliss of shoegaze. With reference-a-many to smoking, sex, and wearing your heart on your sleeve, their debut LP I Think Everyone’s A Cop perfectly captures a moment in time. It’s a seven-song offering full of strong songwriting and even stronger emotions; see below.
Opening track “Cigarette Cough” opens with a short skit before launching into a sloshy, mid-tempo rhythm. Carpool doesn’t skimp on the emo; their songs are certainly full of heartfelt vocals layered over guitar-driven skeletons about love and cigarettes. What really sets this particular group apart is their tasteful use of effects. Guitars are laden with swirls, noisy fuzz tones, and echo-chamber reverb tanks. Sidenote: I think these guys really like cigarettes.
Track two, “Another Song About Rachel,” has a surprisingly straightforward fuzz chorus about making love to your s/o and listening to Morrissey. Moments like this particular chorus show that, despite the layers of effects and the clear technical capability, Carpool can reign it in; they are here to write good songs (and they’ve succeeded). That’s not to say they don’t let it rip (pun intended), “Local Joke” gets real upbeat and punky, while “Idaho” kicks of with a real 90s aesthetic – owing more to Weezer than it does to American Football.
Be sure to stick around for the penultimate (and my personal favorite) track, “Close Encounters of the Sexual Kind.” Here we find Carpool at their slowest and most emotional, whether it be yearning for a heartfelt conversation, Netflix and Chill, or one more delicious Swisher Sweet. Closing track “I think Me And Drake Would Be Friends” is one final burst of energy, layered thick with noodly guitar riffs and vocal-cord-shredding screams. Definitely an apt way to close this one out… For the record, although I’m not sure Drake is into skramz, this song made me want to be friends with Carpool.
I Think Everyone’s A Cop is available via Bandcamp for a very reasonable “name your price” option.