FILE UNDER: Gritty Pop Punk
WHAT'S DIFFERENT: After parting ways with CI Records last year, Carousel Kings make a solid Victory Records debut, having sharpened their skills in an unconventional way: Frontman David Alexander convinced his bandmates to get creative juices flowing through flotation therapy, which spawned emotionally fueled tracks such as the serene “Here, Now, Forever.”
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: The quartet’s third full-length is everything you expect from the current wave of pop punk, but with an added edge. August Burns Red bassist Dustin Davidson contributes vocals on the moody “Something Isn’t Right,” showing off all aspects of both bands’ abilities in one convenient package. Charm City boasts a mix of heavy riffs (“Glory Daze,” “Dynamite”) and hooks for days (“Grey Goose,” “Bad Habit”), producing a collection of earworms that will certainly give conventional pop tracks a run for their money.
OUR PICK: “Grey Goose”