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It’s hard to believe a pop punk (or “easycore” according to Wikipedia) band could be inspired by metal but that’s exactly the case with Pennsylvanian rockers Carousel Kings. Inspired by the likes of August Burns Red and Texas In July who are both from the same small town in Pennsylvania as Carousel Kings. However, Carousel Kings wanted to be as poppy as possible with hints of the music they love. Now, almost ten years later, the band are onto album number two: Charm City.

The first three tracks are very straightforward pop punk although, Carousel Kings do remind me of bands like The Maine – the more, the rockier side of punk rock. It isn’t until Bad Habits which sees those metal influence mentioned early really shine through with some heavier vocals from frontman David Alexander and heavier riffs from guitarist Will Barovick.

Something Isn’t Right starts mellower which again, shows off a different side to the band, before becoming another great “easycore” track. Hate Me, Love Me actually reminds me a bit of Blink 182 and was definitely a real stand out track and Unconditionally (no, it’s not a Katy Perry cover) sounded eerily like Melbourne rockers Masketta Fall. The album comes to an end with the fast-paced, punk rocking You Never Will.

When reviewing this album, I expected a straight forward pop-punk album. What I got, however, was a rocky, metalcore-inspired, early contender for punk album of the year. It’s always exciting to discover new bands you really like, even if it is about ten years after they formed.

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