Album review: The Carvers surf, stomp and sweat up a storm on ‘In Person!’

A screenshot of the Star News Review of The Carvers Surf & Stomp Combo | In Person! July 6, 2012

In the ’90s, surf guitar rock got a push in films by Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction”) and Robert Rodriguez (“From Dusk Till Dawn”) but came and went like the swing craze around the same time. It’s a curious thing given the fun, engaging aspects of its style of rock music that was typically found in old beach movies, teen rebel flicks and television shows like “The Munsters.”

 

The Carvers has played a fair amount of shows around town in the last six months and the few songs on the web left a feeling of wanting to hear more. “In Person!” is a great second helping, collecting together surf rock music that encapsulates that ’60s mod and psychedelic circus sound while injecting bits of rockabilly and atmospherics in songs like “Pop the Top!” or brooding ferocity in a cover of “Death of an Angel.” If you enjoyed the Dexter Romweber show last week then you’ll dig this.

The band digs deep with album opener and instrumental “The Skipper Strut” that feels like it should be on the “Archer” television show soundtrack. It’s mysterious and playful, at home in any spy-centered movie. With “Is That So Wrong” the album shakes loose the bonds of period by delving into drunken abandon and party minded vibes. It’s a Beatles by way of The Standells bruiser of a song and they couple it with the carnival-esque, driving number “Warren Oates,” a cool nod to the late actor.

The Carvers pay tribute to the period with “007” and then transcend it with “The Seagate Stomp,” a barn burner that explodes somewhere between The Cramps and Dick Dale on speed. Making sure to have a theme song “Carver Twist” is dead on, a head shaking swirl of surf guitar and murky keyboards. The whole album sounds crisp, its sound full and dynamic.

The band features Ben Moore on guitar and vocals; Brian Drake (Stuntdoubles, NoSeRiDeRs) on guitar; Jason Delamar (Swashbuckler) on guitar; Seth Moody (The NoSeRiDeRs, Da Howlies) on keyboards; and Steviemack Harrington on drums.