The Carousers’ eponymous EP, released October 6th, starts out hard and never lets up. The trio out of Long Branch, made up of guitarist/singer Joey Affatato, bassist Cassidy Crosby, and drummer Andy Jackle, packs so much energy into these five songs that you won’t need caffeine for days an hour or two, let’s be real.
The Carousers hits you in the face with guitars, accenting harmonies, and wry lyrics about the struggles of love, made all the more vivid by Affatato’s raw delivery. “Another World,” their single released last month, starts out, “Eyes glued to my stupid fucking phone/Waiting for your name but it don’t show,” characteristically mixing self-deprecating humor with heartbreak to convey self-awareness and perspective in the face of romantic frustrations.
So, the warm summer weather we’ve all been waiting for finally arrived last week, and we were blessed with a few 90 degree days. But, with the good comes the bad, and that can only mean Garden State Parkway summer, rush hour traffic. Sitting in that clusterfuck from Montclair all the way down to Long Branch doesn’t sound like the ideal way to spend a Thursday evening, but when at one end is a show at the Brighton Bar featuring Toy Cars, Rocky and the Chapter, and – are you shitting me? – Hot Rod Circuit, you can bet I’ll be hauling ass at a blazing 7mph for the entire 60 miles. Don’t worry; I made it with plenty of time to spare.
A week or so ago, a buddy of mine asked if I wanted to catch Speak Low if You Speak Love, a side project of Ryan Scott Graham, at Brighton Bar on Saturday. Of course I wanted to go. That’s kinda the whole point of what we’re doing here, right? But still, I had to laugh when he asked me. The two of us had seen Graham’s other band, State Champs, about a year ago when they opened for Wonder Years and Motion City Soundtrack on Black Friday at Starland, and that night ended with a fist fight on the shoulder of Rt. 35 at 2am, so I was really hoping this show would go differently.