Karrigan - My Conscience Got the Best of Me
Record Label: None
Release Date: March 25, 2008
There are some bands that are born to play commercial-pop tinged punk, and Orlando, Florida’s rock quartet Karrigan fit that bill perfectly. The band’s latest EP, My Conscience Got the Best of Me is a brew of love-soaked vocals reminiscent of Daphne Loves Derby’s Kenny Choi with bushy chord bristles that produce fluffy lathers liken to The Summer Obsession and uplifting grooves that have a Say Anything-vibe in its wind-in-your-hair pick-ups. The album’s content is pure power pop with a romantic-edge that will attract couples, or people who see themselves with someone in mind but they aren‘t quite there yet. Produced by Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner (Coheed and Cambria, The Sleeping, Straylight Run), My Conscience Got the Best of Me blankets its listeners in mollified tension where anger and frustration gives in to the power of the moon following that desire to fly straight into love’s waiting arms. The album is mushy while maintaining a viable commercial rock-veneer.
The album starts the show with the percolating chord rumbles of “Underage Drinking Party” and the seething vocals of lead vocalist/guitarist Austin O’Laughlin who actually has as much bite as a powderpuff. Being in a fight with O’Laughlin must be like having a pillow fight with bean-bag sized pillows. O’Laughlin’s vocals have an infectious bounce that pings across the rhythmic grooves of bassist Ryan Klein and drummer Keith Allen in “Summer Shadez” revealing thoughts that linger on, “It’s been about three minutes / And I can’t get you out of my thoughts / I knew nothing about a broken heart / It’s you, keeping me off guard / Tell me forever, we go on and on and on and on / Drop down, felt the pulse of your heart / Downtown summer nights and I swear / I was holding the world.” The lyrics are dreamy and the band tries to toughen them up with a pop punk swagger and slick grumbling chords played by guitarist/keyboardist Chase Williams. The band solders softcore with flustering rock vibrations in "Love Triangles Are Fun But the Corners Can Be So Sharp" and shrink-wraps the buoyant keyboards with the rhythmic rolls of “There Was a Fork in the Road So I Took It.” The final two tracks “From Up Here” and “Here’s to the Nights We’d Kill to Get Back” keep a positive vibrancy with bubbling chord lathers and tail-wagging rhythms.
Karrigan are making their debut as a power pop quartet with their EP My Conscience Got the Best of Me. Their melodic lines are laced with unwavering optimism and a powderpuff punch. They have shared the stage with Paramore, Boys Like Girls, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, New Found Glory, All Time Low, and Chiodos, and they are looking forward to playing several dates on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour. Their set will be best enjoyed sitting next to your date, or at least sitting next to the one that you would like to be dating. You will understand why after the show.