Carbon Tigers - The Wars at Home EP
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: Nov. 19
Sometimes a disc takes you by complete surprise, taking you on a journey that satisfies from start to finish. The Wars at Home EP, the latest release from Chicago’s Carbon Tigers is such a disc. The EP opens with the inviting “Everybody Else,” a lingering cut with gleaming guitars and plaintive vocals from Chris Wienke. The disc segues quickly into the title track, a taut, pensive and expertly crafted tour-de-force that firmly represents Carbon Tigers as a band to watch out for in 2014.
Similarly, “Ishmael” starts slowly before shuffling into a hip-shaking, head-bobbing chorus. Arguably the most accessible of the first three cuts, “Ishmael” is the band’s golden ticket and the first moment in which Carbon Tigers shows an ability to make a serious dent in the months and years to come. The placid and slow-building “Queen” is the band’s ballad, a respite and chance for the band to take a breather as well as prove their diversity. At this point, the disc has been nothing short of lush, glimmering and spellbinding, so when clattering guitars open up “The Harvest,” the entire experience is both jarring, uncomfortable and a bit surprising.
Easily the heaviest song on the EP, “The Harvest” is a chance for the band to flex their muscles. That decision though is a misstep as the band seems to focus more on sonic density than their collective talents. To some the song may work but on an album of sweeping, Coldplay-inspired efforts, the song is wonky to say the least. That small gripe aside, The Wars at Home is an absolute home-run and easily one of the best EPs released this year.