Ok so first off... yes I am a fan. As is Jon. CKY has played as the soundtrack to our lives from juniors in high school until now. I even went out and bought a Parker Nitefly when I was 20. Saw them twice and still have an autographed set list hanging on my wall. I wanna talk about Carver City, CKY's new opus.
First off, Jess Margera has come a long way as a drummer. His skill is maturing. Wonderful. Deron Miller knows this as well and is now using Margera's drumming as a focal point to his songs. The stutter steps of Margera's drumming are not beyond, but in a different (yet familiar realm) than the music. Miller is improvising his guitar riffs over Margera's new role as not only the time keeper and backbone of the band, but as the driving force. This leaves Miller's riffs a bit underdone and overdone with production as a result. Nevertheless the man can write a hook. Bass accompanies, and CIG just does what he's told. He's happy to be part of something and I'm afraid to say it... that is where his influence ends. Moving on..
Miller's lyrics and emotional drive have matured. From "96 Quite Bitter Beings," immortal line, " they've deleted all the tourists at the bottom of the lake"... to "Boardwalk Body"'s "all evidence was washed out by the tide"... we see a growth from horror infused lyrics to an emotional cry born out of personal, and maybe a bit too esoteric memories. Bottom line is... horror movies are fun and a great platform to rock a band, but to endure that horror, one must be made to eat away at the listener. Favorite song on the album by far. Mainly because I don't like listening to it... the harmonies and riffs are too into the emotion. Miller has done it. I don't want to look at the body, just as the character in the song doesn't, but cant turn away. I cant turn away from this song or this album.
Some of the effects in the song are a bit overdone. Am I listening to Owl City, or am I listening to CKY? Its overdone and un-needed in some places. The genius guitar riffs and accompanying bass lines stand alone and are more than enough. The drumming is almost too good for the album and it seems as if the band is over-compensating for the fact that they now have a drummer who can really bring it. Drums aren't the show... fuck Grateful Dead... I want to hear rock. Margera's artistic voice is lost in Miller's whimsy. But this doesn't bother me.... but it may down the line.
Miller's lyrics aren't comic book anymore. He's getting older, the band is getting older and so are their fans. Margera's drumming is becoming a force in the band. The overall message remains the same, yet the imagery is becoming darker and more thought provoking. Well... well done I guess. It'll never be the first album, and it comes close to as good as IDR. But, not yet.
In the end, Carver City is a really good album. It needs some tweeks... and it needs some eliminations. Long story short; CKY is growing on the back of Miller's songwriting, and it is now being allowed to do so with the advent of Margera's new found ability to be a jazz drummer in a metal band. I personally think their next album may be a masterpiece just as the first was. maybe not in the same boat, but definitely in the ocean... I just feel that the talent and new found ability need to mesh with the lyrics and message in a way where we can remember the first album. Those guys were as good as they were going to be at such a young age with lyrics to match. The lyrics have matured.. and so had the music... but I feel like those driving forces are running opposite of each other. Every once in a while they crash. And every once in a while they hit the same track and run together. Once Jess and Deron finally fall on the same track... I can only imagine it will be terrific. Or at least I can hope.