Carpenter - Lifelines (Cover Artwork)


Lifelines (2016)

Gold Stock Records

Carpenter are a Vancouver punk rock influenced rock and roll band, they have put out a few records in the past, but following a prolonged hiatus they have returned with Lifelines. Self-proclaimed followers of the church of Bruce Springsteen, the influence is apparent on Lifelines, but still blurred enough for most mainstream punk fans to get on board with Carpenter’s sound.

Lifelines features 8-songs of vocal driven, mid-tempo rock, produced and recorded by Stu McKillop at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver. The production is solid and crisp, and exactly what a band of this style would be looking for, although I do wonder if Carpenter may have benefitted from a rawer sounding recording.

My primary concern is that the album doesn’t have much variation as far as song writing goes, which unfortunately causes some of the songs to blend together or sound very similar. While I enjoy both of these tracks, I find it difficult to argue that the riffs of “Sad Songs” and “City By The Sea” don’t sound quite similar with different lyrics. Many bands are guilty of writing a record full of the same chords, it doesn’t make the album any less enjoyable, I just wonder what could have been if a bit more speed and variation were put into the equation.

The vocals are one of the strongest points of the record; the clear and solid voice compliments the song writing, and continues to pull the listener into the songs. As far as Carpenter’s farming and agriculture influence that has been displayed on past releases, Lifelines seems to have less of this imagery and focus. The lyrics put more focus on life and relationships, which in turn results with songs that are a bit more relatable for your average listener (Unless you wear John Deere hats on the regular).

Lifelines is a solid and fun listen, I recommend it to anyone who enjoys FEST style punk rock and catchy upbeat songs. These guys have managed to return with a style and energy not many bands can manage after quite a few years off.