Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Karabal Nightlife

Disclaimer: No member of this blog or the reviewer has heard The Karabal Nightlife's "The Other Shore" in it's entirety, only the tracks listed on their Myspace page.

When you listen to a band/song/album for the first time, you often wonder - 'Under what circumstances would I bump this record? Would I play this in my car, driving to work? Is this ideal music for a quick dip in the slough on a warm summers eve?'

I am here to say that The Karabal Nightlife's 'The Other Shore' is fantastic late-night hand job music.

All crassness aside, 'The Other Shore' has the dreamy quality ideal for a first-time grope session on your couch with the cute girl you just met at the bar earlier that night. The guitars are gentle and swirly, the melodies are simple, and the rhythm section is appropriately fragile. Make no mistake - this is scented candle-lightin' music, my friends. Karabal Nightlife front man Jesse Davis' high-pitched vocals warmly recall those of Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue - and in many ways, you could draw a lot of comparison between the two bands. Seriously - how many late night hand-jobs do you think The Rev's 'Deserters Songs' was responsible for? At least 3 in my neck of the woods. Don’t make me connect the dots for you here, people.

These kids have great pedigree, they look cute, and the hooks are there. Toss on the esteem of being mastered by Rick Parker (Black Rebel, Dandy Warhols, Von Bondies, etc), and you're able to easily forget the same-sounding redundancy that sets in after a few spins. Besides - hand-job music isn't about mind-blowing time changes; it's about getting her hands wrapped around that peen of yours, right? Right. And with that in mind, I present to you The Karabal Nightlife. Now just make sure you've got some semi-absorbent towelettes close by.

I'm giving this one a solid Jesse Spano.

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
jesse spano

huh? what the hell does that mean?


John Simmonds said...

Hey McCord, great review. I really like the imagery you create in your writing. I hear that the band was less than thrilled with it though. I suppose I can understand in a way, but honestly your review is what made me go and check them out. And I liked them. Good job buddy.


Anonymous said...

Hey John,
I'm the singer of this band. Thanks for checking us out! McCord's review IS rather crass and paints less than a favorable picture of our music but the main thing we were upset about is that he reviewed our album without listening to even half of it (just some myspace tunes). Not to say McCord would have loved the album but he'd probably had some different stuff to say about it since most of the songs sound pretty different from each other. When McCord gets sick of handjobs and is ready to go all the way... he knows where to buy our album :)

Courtney Heard said...

i totally agree, i laughed *and* enjoyed the band all at the same time. it almost made me wish i had a penis. shoot, there's that offensive language again...

that leads me to wonder, what sort of human being thinks a hand-job is offensive?

Courtney Heard said...


"less than favorable"? what would have been favorable, saying it was double-penetration gang-bang music?

John Simmonds said...


I am a musician as well. I have a few bands with music pages on myspace including: The Assassination
The Misconducts
I've released complete albums with all of these bands but unfortunately myspace allows me to only feature 4 songs. So unless you do this differently than me, I choose my 4 strongest, or most marketable songs. Obviously I don't want my art to be judged solely on these 4 songs alone, but what other choice do I have. I am a huge fan of "albums". I believe the complete album is what we strive for as writers, not just a song or 2. But we have to use the tools we have at our disposal. I read the review, and to me it didn't sound like an album review, it simply sounded like a guys thoughts on a few of your song. Yes he mentioned your album, but what's the harm in that. You have to remember that all publicity is good publicity. I for one wouldn't have even listened to your songs if it hadn't been for this review. I do understand why you would take some offence to some of his comments, but I think you need to see the positive in this, and take it with a grain of salt. In my opinion all parties benefit here including the reader, and that’s what everyone seems to be marketing towards. Just my 2 cents.


Courtney Heard said...

well said johnny-boy, extra beer for you tonight!

Anonymous said...

I was forwarded this review and feel as though I have to voice my comments.

If this zine considers itself in accordance with journalistic integrity, there are two factual innacuracies that need to be corrected. Bear in mind, I have no beef with the substance of the review. Thank you for writing about the band. I'm glad you guys are doing what you're doing and I'm extremely opposed to censorship of opinions. However, getting the facts straight is very important, and right now, they're incorrect.

1. Rick Parker did not produce the album. We (the band) made all production decisions, and I personally engineered the recording and mixing of the album. This took place over the course of about a year and a half during which we spent countless hours coming up with a "finished product" to send off to the mastering studio. The mastering engineer (in this case Rick Parker) then makes extremely minor adjustments to things like overall volume levels and the amount of silence between songs. Mastering is not production. Mastering comes after production. The recording and mixing of an album is the album's production, and for that, the credit should be attributed to myself and the rest of the band, or not mentioned at all.

2. This review declares itself to be an album review when it makes statements referring to the album as a whole ("...'The Other Shore' is fantastic late-night hand job music." or "...'The Other Shore' has the dreamy quality..."). I have been informed that neither the author of the review nor any other member of your staff has a copy of the album or has ever heard the album in its entirity. What this means is that it's actually erronious to make general statements about the album, be they good or bad. If this is a review of a few tracks, and a general impression of the band's sound, that's great, but that needs to be clear to the reader. I'm also told that this zine does not do album reviews. All the more reason to correct language *specifically* referring to an *album* (by name) that hasn't been listened to in the first place. I just hope you realize that this is equivalent to writing film reviews from watching the trailers, or making general statements about a grocery store after only looking at the bread and the potato chips. It's important that the review accurately says what it's actually reviewing, and if it isn't going to do that, it needs to at least refrain from saying it's reviewing something other than what it is reviewing. In short, explicit references to 'The Other Shore' should be changed to "The band's myspace tracks" or something else that's accurate.

I really hope the editor of the zine will correct these two things, as they are factual errors.


Dan Grayson
(former drummer/producer with The Karabal Nightlife)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making those adjustments to the review. We appreciate it.
And just to clarify - hand-jobs aren't offensive. They're for 14-year-olds, really. But maybe saying that someone's album is hand-job music w/o having heard it can be offensive. There IS a distinction.
Much love,

mike3 said...

i actually bought "the other shore" by the Tarabal Nightlife,oooppppps and all i have to say is i will nver sleep with the drummer again!!!