Arriving at a time (the 2000s) and a place (Atlanta, Georgia) where one might not expect to find a great punk rock band, the Carbonas were a group who had their work cut out for them during most of their 2001-2009 lifespan. But they managed to find an enthusiastic audience for their brand of stripped-down and souped-up rock & roll, both in their home town and elsewhere, and it's no wonder; like their spiritual brethren the New Bomb Turks, the Carbonas knew what was cool about first-era punk rock and the snotty, stripped-down sounds that preceded it, but they could also turn up the heat and push the tempos to near-hardcore levels without losing their footing. Lead singer Greg King and guitarist Clay Kilbourne were a team in the grand tradition of Stiv Bators and Cheetah Chrome, merging bad attitude and raucous, sneering sounds with a level of skill that almost sounds like they weren't even trying, that they could do this as naturally as breathing or jaywalking. And while the Carbonas released two fine self-titled albums in their lifetime (and a debut that's not great but better than the band suggested in their interviews), they also left a lot of great cuts on singles, demo tapes, and live recordings, many of which never saw the light of day. 2018's Your Moral Superiors: Singles and Rarities brings together 37 tracks that never before appeared on a Carbonas album, and it's a solid blast of rock action from start to finish. While the earlier numbers reveal a lean, streamlined approach that gave way to a more full-bodied tone as the band matured, from the start, the Carbonas knew that fast, loud, and unpolished was the right road for them. Their loyalty to their chosen style was complete, as the tempo and the energy never lets up. The fidelity varies from track to track -- some of the songs came from studio sessions, others were rescued from battered cassettes or antiquated hard drives -- but this music is about muscle, not engineering, and the performances never fail to connect. Your Moral Superiors: Singles and Rarities might be a bit more Carbonas than most folks need, but as a celebration of a band that let out a mighty roar that made them legends on the Southern punk underground, this is the tribute they deserve. If you like your punk rock straight, no chaser, with hints of swaggering cool, this collection should be in your life.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming