Carnival Art

Welcome to Vas Llegas

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Linguistic pun and corroded Elvis impersonator on the cover aside, Vas Llegas isn't so much about Nevada's capital of gambling as it is another pop/artrock investigation of the American Dream and how it doesn't quite work. Carnival Art here show a little more willingness to plunge directly into the monster stomp side of their personalities, kicking off the album proper after an instrumental aside with the epic rip of "Shit Thick." Like the first album's "Sticky Green," George Bush is the target, if more abstractly, though the venom in the lyrics comes out as straightforward as it can get. Sometimes the efforts at aiming big end up dragging a bit, as with "Blue Food," but other numbers like "Crepitus" -- brilliant title, that -- fire it all up and go nuts, with some particularly solid guitar to recommend it. By no means is the catchy fun side of the group gone, though. "Which is Wig" and "Gold Plated Crazy" almost skip along, while the punnily-titled "Bullet Surprise," almost in spite of its story of a screw-up who the narrator jauntily orders to commit suicide, has a bright, sweetly soaring feeling. General misanthropy rules the record as before, Tak's quaver suiting it all surprisingly well, while the quartet crunch along effectively enough fast or slow, produced by Nicholas Sansano, who handled similar duties on the Holy Smokes EP. Targets generally are portrayed with something close to sympathy throughout, or at least an acknowledgement that the dead-end characters portrayed still have dreams, as in the convoluted sex/fame scenario "Little Elvis." With "Pill Bugg" as one of the most upbeat songs around about a reclusive hyperloner around to serve as an album closer, Vas Llegas shows that Carnival Art may never be legends, but they did have a certain something, just maybe.

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