Rust on the Carousel EP Review

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Rust on the Carousel’s debut EP, “Born Dead,” is a rousing and gut wrenching blast of Jersey style rock and roll. If you like old Springsteen, the Ramones, and early U2, give this a listen. You remember that style of music, don’t you? A little raw, fun, the kind you just want to blast out of your car windows because yelling it makes you feel alive?

Starting out the EP is the feisty, pounding rhythm on “The Ballad of Bubba.” The song is strangely fun and alive , drawing you to the beat until the lyrics belted out by Doug Gatta’s strong bass vocals nail you in the face. “Where the stray dogs lie down to die, that is where I thrive.” I’ll spare you the part about Jesus. This song is excruciating imagery of society’s lost all wrapped up in hard driving rock and roll.

“Walk Quiet” is the straightest link back to young Springsteen both vocally and instrumentally, even Gatta’s lyrics are protesting as they refuse to roll over and do what is expected. “I’ll walk quiet like I was taught. I’d carry your sins, man, but they ain’t mine. And me, I feel like walkin’ my own line.” Well done.

If Springsteen and Bono had a lovechild, it would be the next song, “The Given Day.” With lyrics by bassist John Pietruska, this is all about love gone terribly wrong. Deep and dark and heavy, “The Given Day’s” beat is akin to “All Along the Watchtower” with interesting work on guitars. This song could have been sitting in a vault of forgotten tracks from so many of our rock and roll legends.

And finally, the EP’s namesake, “Born Dead,” is a brutal statement on our boys trapped by circumstance and going off to fight this rich man’s war. While the song may owe a bit of design to Kings of Leon, lyrically “Born Dead” reaches back to war immortal and the fate that makes some boys soldiers. Musically, everything here manages to maintain a subtlety while still being wide open and intense.

I am impressed and intrigued by Rust on the Carousel – three guys able to create music that is uplifting, energizing, and tragic at the same time. Cancellieri told me that this music is fresh out of the garage, and their songs are about what they know with Gatta writing most of the lyrics. They pulled together the material and cash for a couple of days at Retromedia Studio and came out with this EP. A tour is planned for the East Coast this summer…when school is out. That’s right. These are teenagers, and they have recorded an impressive offering with “Born Dead.” What have you done with your life?

All of our best to you John, Doug, and John. Have a great summer!

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