Carnival Season: Misguided Promise; Carnival Season Complete (1984-89)

Carnival Season
Misguided Promise: Carnival Season Complete (1984-89)
(Arena Rock Recording Company)

Decades have passed since the world has heard anything from Carnival Season. The band that started in 1984 has now released their entire career on one CD complete with extensive liner notes and photographs documenting their time period in independent music history.

The idea of releasing a band’s record more than 20 years after their split might sound ridiculous to some. However, in today’s time when fans are looking backwards to discover rock’s missing link, this release can be considered well timed.  My first thoughts when I first heard Misguided Promise was “Damn, these guys really found a way to sound authentic.” In my head, I’m thinking “Who does this remind me of? Husker Du? Buzzcocks?” It was then that I realized the release actually was authentic; the music truly was inspired by their predecessors; it dated back to the warly ’80s.

The album consists of 21 tracks making it difficult to listen to the whole thing in one sitting. Its total length is an hour and 20 minutes. My recommendation would be to approach Misguided Promise as though it were two or even three volumes. The music is raw with a gritty edge leaning on later ’80s punk rock and alternative sounds. Some songs are reminiscent of Cheap Trick while others sound similar to early Soul Asylum. Without discrediting the rest of the album, the most noteworthy tracks include “Black Velvet Elvis,” “Please Don’t Send Me Heaven,” and “Cyrinda.”

I enjoy the rough and loud attitude the band depicts. I’m sure they were a fun band to see live. Although I am not sure Carnival Season’s time capsule is rock’s missing link, cheers to these guys and Arena Rock for pulling off this release.  Hopefully it allows for some well deserved notoriety.