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For Carnation

For Carnation Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Mar 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Touch & Go Records
  • ASIN: B00003XAA4
  • Other Editions: Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,449 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Emp. Man's Blues
2. A Tribute To
3. Being Held
4. Snoother
5. Tales (Live From The Crypt)
6. Moonbeams

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Claustrophobia 24 July 2003
By Matt
Format:Audio CD
That word claustrophobia: it sums up so much about this album. It's like walking through swampy dreamscapes of tall buildings and crowds; or dark tunnels, on your belly in the earth's ooze.
Brian McMahan used to be in Slint, a band that virtually invented post-rock, all twisted rhythms and butchered guitars. This moves the template sideways somewhat: the rhythsm are still there, all chopped and swarming, but it's rooted in the blues, then fractured through an almost Massive Attack (circa Mezzanine)style sonic prism. Tribute To is a perfect example of this. Built around a huge, sinuous bassline, it moves like a tortured animal, McMahan whispering, deep in the mix, "desperate days they walk behind/ though you see them do not look them in the eye"; and the thing with it is that it's so suffocating and powerful, it seems to enter the room and fill it out, leaving no space for air. It sounds hyperbolic but the effect is palpable.
There is respite however and the ambient textures of Moonbeam and Emp. Man's Blues, all snakelike synth washes and low end throb, ease the tension but underly it as well, building foundations of paranoia.
All in all, The Forcarnation is an amazing trawl through the depths and soundscapes of the unconscious. It's a worthwhile journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow Jam 22 Oct 2007
Format:Audio CD
If, like me, you come to `The For Carnation' through the Slint connection, you will find plenty of similarities with the legendary `Spiderland'. There are six tracks over about 40 minutes; one unorthodox instrumental; songs with no conventional structure and Brian McMahan delivering half-spoken narrative-style vocals.

However, the musical style on `The For Carnation' is far more restrained. The tracks are all driven by languid, rolling basslines with minimal percussion, augmented by string flourishes and bursts of distorted guitars and odd noises.

This is slow, carefully crafted music but wonderfully atmospheric and dark. The instrumental `Being Held' is a particular gem, being built upon a persistently ringing bell over which are layered low mechanical rumbles and bursts of tight percussion. The whole effect is tense and conveys a real sense of alarm.

It's a great record which rewards repeated listens but the one downside is its lack of variety. All the tracks are very similar and I find my interesting waning slightly towards the end. Still, great for late nights and comes recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dark 31 Jan 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is not an album to listen to if you want a "pick me up". its dark, slow and clostrophobic. A Tribute To is a dinghy, dark groove driven by a bassline that is solid. The vocals a very creepy on this album, like a softly spoken murderer whispering to his pray! OK maybe a little to harsh but this album is a must buy for all you post rock, ambient, doom fans
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uh, can you say "genius"? 5 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Finally! After releasing only a 3 song single in '95 and an EP in '96, The For Carnation put out a full length album (43 minutes anyway). I have no idea why it took four years to get it out but it was worth the wait. This album is a lot more groove or trance oriented than their previous stuff. It's not quite as minimal although the songs are still very mellow and beautiful. The music washes over you in pulsating waves while the vocals are softly sung in a very creepy manner. The whole album has a very dark mood, much like Brian's previous work. None of the songs stick out as being better than any other, as they're all pretty close to perfect. Personnel wise, only Brian and Michael McMahan still remain from any previous lineup, but Brian's basically the backbone of the band anyway. There are a lot of "additional performers" on the album including Rachel Haden (from That Dog), Kim Deal, Britt Walford (from Slint), and John McEntire (Tortoise, Sea and Cake, etc.). Basically, this album is flawless. If you don't buy this, you are insane.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The For Carnation 2 Jun 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It drags. It drives. It broods. It bleeds. In a world where technology makes it so easy to flood the ears, The For Carnation has mastered a subdued sound that lulls and charms and then sends shivers down your spine with a bit of eerie guitar or unnerving electronica. And the melodies follow you for days, insinuating themselves into your consciousness at every quiet moment. Sloooow and smooooth and a nice album to listen to when the lights are out and the day is done. A soundtrack for warm purple dreams.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it took me awhile to get into it but... 31 Aug 2000
By brent besch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
now i can honestly say this is one of my five favorite albums to be released this year, and definitely my favorite that could be considered "post-rock". this album moves extremely slow, not unlike scottish post-rockers mogwai, but without the noisier, harsher elements. most of the songs on here consist of a repeated bassline, slow drums that accompany the bassline, a few strange noises in the background, and unique vocals that range between talking and subtle singing. there are seldom changes in the music, but when there are, it sounds beautiful.
i was not able to get into this album right away. the music is incredibly simplistic, extremely slow, and very repitive...but after a few listens i found that the for carnation can find beauty in this. for best results, listen to this late at night with no lights on, it's incredibly soothing.
this is extremely original too; the only comparisons i could really make are mogwai and tortoise, but tortoise has much more going on usually, and mogwai implement more guitar into their mix. oh yeah, and if you didn't know already, this is mcmahon from slint's group, so i guess if you heard these guys before slint, check out their spiderland album as well.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars slow, entropic field-disturbances 28 April 2000
By Philip Welsh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Picking up where "Salo" left off on their last release, this album strikes me, after my third listen, as (almost) a single song in 6 parts or movements. They're all long, they're all as dark and deep and booming and hollow and spaced as the inside of the enemy spacecraft in the first "Alien" movie, with an overwhelming surface similarity reminiscent in character (if not in tone) of the first Neu! album.
That said, the inside of Brian McMahan's head must look quite a bit like the H.R. Giger interiors of that grounded alien ship, too. Or like the scapes of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath." Everything dark, charred, every movement carefully, carefully considered, betrayal and death lurking on the fringes of your vision like a surety of wolves at dusk. "Tales" is the most arresting, opening with Kim Deal's brief take on "When You Wish Upon a Star," breathed like a futile prayer before opening the cellar door and descending on rickety old steps into the dank chill maliciousness of the song. "A Tribute To" sounds the most like The For Carnation's earlier work: quiet, lyrically stretched out, held together and aloft by a meager but insistent skeleton of bass strings. The others chug along in the fashion one associates with the band -- i.e. a for carnation is a for carnation is a for carnation -- black and wet and trippy, the wide cold distances between stars, the strange haunting lyrics causing random, rusty neurons to fire in the memory, and begging the same question with each repetition: just what the hell is Brian McMahan singing about? I don't know, but I'll have another anyway. Best for late at night, alone, pensive; goes exceedingly well with Scotch, ganj, or both.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have 25 Jan 2001
By "melmack" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Dark. Intense. Introspective. Brooding. Indispensible. This is definitely a cd for the new millenium. After a long, difficult wait, The For Carnation has released another truly incredible cd. These songs are highly-polished, detailed works. Utilizing slow tempos, a quiet and minimalist sound, and very subtly mixed echoes and electronics, this album creates pure atmosphere. Listening to this cd is like looking at the world through dark sunglasses- everything is a little ethereal, distant. The lyrics are often sung low, whispered, or half-spoken - giving the songs an intensity and closeness that adds even more to the dark atmosphere.
"A Tribute To" is moving, insistent, and almost threatening at times. "Being Held" is a throbbing, pulsating mass of sound with powerful percussion, without being noisy or employing distortion. "Moonbeams" starts simply but subtly builds to a cinematic climax of electronics and percussion over an epic ten-minutes.
This album is an excellent addition to any collection. Nearly everyone who listens to it gets drawn in. The dark, black cover art showing those few, stately windows allowing just a small amount of light inside perfectly illustrates the atmosphere and feel of this album.
One of the best of 2000. (Along with Aloha's "That's Your Fire" and Storm & Stress's "Under Thunder and Fluorescent Lights".)
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