Formerly known as Carpe Diem, this up front, in yer face, larger than life six piece Lancaster band are a force to be reckoned with.
Dropping the “day” (Diem) part of their Latin inspired name a couple of years ago, Carpe simply means “sieze, enjoy, or make use of”, and after listening to Risk It All (2012), over the last few months, I get a sense of that very sentiment running through the record, like blood coursing through veins.
Risk It All is jam packed with different styles. From the contemporary, poetic, forward thinking rapping of Ash Murphy, to the soaring blues guitar parts via the African bongo beats and husky, melodic blues tones of Frenchie the album takes you on a journey through rock, hip-hop, blues and funk with flair and charisma. I get a sense of early Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Freaky Styley, 1985), with a hint of De La Soul and a smattering of Terrorvision.
The album opens with Risk It All - a funky, bass heavy rap vocal led verse which gives way to a rocking chorus before slotting back neatly into the funk again. It’s tight, the lyrics are happy go lucky and playful and don’t take themselves too seriously. There’s some good effects in use here as well.
The funk and the precision percussion continues with Just Might, and the blues vocals come into their own in Sunshine, which slips a summery ska sound in for good measure.
When the music’s over, track six Don’t Know Why remains for me, and it’s perhaps the stand out track. A driving, building, pensive combination of blues and rock. Love it.
Thread Your Pockets has a wonderful production - warm vocals this time coming from drummer Rachel Parsons - it’s an edgy downtempo sound that soars in the chorus and carries some fantastic guitar playing.
I saw Carpe play a jam packed Go Burrito at Lancaster Music Festival and they do the business live as well. They’re at The Yorkshire House on December 23. Entry is £4, with 3D Tanx, Fighting Keegans and Just Leroy.