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ALBUM REVIEW: CARSWELL & HOPE, ‘EXIT PLAN’

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Silly Goose Records

Carswell & Hope suck you into Exit Plan immediately.

The new six-track EP from the Lawrence, Kansas quintet is complete with raucous numbers and soothing folk melodies. Carswell & Hope is an outfit that is loosely defined by genre. When they want to be loud, they are. When they want to be soft and gentle, they are. Seeing a live show by the band is an experience in and of itself, andExit Plan perfectly mirrors the eclectic stylings of their live performance.

The first track, “Cordelia” is one of those rowdy tracks mentioned. Elements of hardrock surround the band, frontman Nick Carswell belts his lyrics as the band (Jason Slote, Austin Quick, Chris Handley, and Jordan Tucker) take their instrumentation to the next level, keeping the energy high throughout. Following “Cordelia”, is the classic-rock sounding “Abilene”. Let’s just all agree that we’ll be blasting “Abilene” on our road trip playlists this summer. “Exit Plan” keeps things peppy, and carries with it a refrain you’d feel comfortable shouting in a bar.

The last part of the album is a bit more tame.The fourth track, “Nobody Home” takes on a folk-soaked ballad feel. That vibe continues, as the songs sink further and further into a sort of lullaby. “Nobody Home” is the kind of song you’d expect to hear from a folk rock band from Kansas. It’s dripping with springtime storms rolling over the Kansas wheat fields. Sad and sappy, you’ll come out with some bruises on your heart. If I can inject some personal feelings here, “The Other Side” may be the best song on this record (best = my personal favorite). Just promise me you’ll grab some good headphones and listen to this bop. The album ends with the ever charming “Seraphine”. I was hooked on Carswell & Hope’s flawless melodies and storytelling with this track when they released it back in March.

Give Exit Plan a spin or two (or twelve, or more?) and catch them live at the Oread with LK Ultra! in Lawrence on June 2nd.

 

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