The Carter Administration, Betty Ford Start Packing, The Carters Are Coming (Self-Released)

Posted January 22nd, 2001 by admin

The Carter Administration
Betty Ford Start Packing, The Carters Are Coming
By: Eric G.

With middle fingers waving only half-jokingly, The Carter Administration returns with another batch of catchy, unpretentious rock and roll- some old, some new. Categorically, I wouldn't call it "pop" and I wouldn't call it "punk" either even though the band clearly incorporates both in its tightly wound anthems. This is a rock band to the core- no agenda, no politics, no self-ingratiating angst- just plain old (school) rock and roll fun.

You should remember "Tickle Me Emo" from the band's 1999 release, High On Voting. Packed full of razor sharp riffs, it's the memorable vocal line that propels the song forward. The title may be a playful stab at wimpy punk, but the song itself is a nostalgic trip down dysfunctional memory lane sung with a strange mix of bored detachment and open-faced honesty. "Carter 8 Chappaquiddick 1" further explores poppy, singsong-style vocals, but this time the clean guitar riffs steal the show.

All three members of the band sing their own songs, so there are three distinct facets to the band's sound. There's the aforementioned pop side while "Roll Mama Over" showcases a more accomplished edge. The commercial appeal is obvious as soon as the double-tracked chorus hits, especially with that sugary falsetto note. The gritty, aggressive side of the band rears its head on "Complain & Complain & Complain." The song grows angrier with each verse and practically explodes after a raucous bridge: "you're not that pretty so I don't know what I was thinking/you're not that witty and you piss me off when you're drinking." The infectious chorus of "Math Is Hard" matches the dirty guitar charge effectively. The band even has the balls to taunt us with a solo of sorts complete with a whammy bar crescendo (50 points).

Despite their charm, songs like "Goin' Out A-Partyin'" and "Tonite Is The Night" don't quite match the head-bobbing, sing-along feel of instant gems like "Kinder, Gentler Motherfucker" or "EZ Duz It", but don't be discouraged- this is an action packed set of songs. With all fourteen tracks blowing by in less than thirty minutes, the few songs that don't set you on fire are over before you can think of a reason not to like them. And with such (college) radio-friendly fodder as "Tons Of Trouble" you'll be singing along too loudly to care.

Tags: review