The Tower is a three-song EP spat out by Carbo, a power trio from Volta Redonda, Brazil. It’s a fourteen-minute run loaded with riffs, 90’s grunge swagger, and powered by high gain and high pitch vocals. The feel of the production gives you the feeling that you’ve stumbled upon a demo tape or bootleg of a ‘90s grunge band in the late ‘80s. These three songs sit in the meeting point between metal, grunge and stoner rock. Fans of Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Fu Manchu will understand the frequency of Carbo’s scream.
With the first track, “Taste/Freedom,” you will taste the taste of freedom. A gnarly and stoned-out wave immediately scoops you into Carbo’s waters. Fast and thrashy, some parts sound like early Metallica both vocally and instrumentally. The Fu Manchu is strong in this one as well. Big flexes on the vocals soar over the grimey riffs, and then, very suddenly, it all drops off. Enter the stoned. With the tempo cut in half and the riff coming in double dirty, the band shows that they are able to sink into the quintessential stoner groove and breakdown.
“Mirror Mirror” comes in with a riff that you’d imagine if you thought of what riffs sound like with fuzz and an octave pedal. On top of this, you also get the delight of some distorted slide guitar which helps break up the rigid riff. The Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) and Lane Staley (Alice in Chains) vocal influence is very apparent in this song. That’s a big part of the late ‘80s vibe that you might catch with Carbo. The music is cool and the vocals are on point, but a part of the vibe is also the feeling that a lot of what you’re hearing is borrowed and presented in a way that you’ve probably already heard before. That being said, these songs are a fun groove to ride to.
“Boil” rounds out the show the same way it started, with a head-bangin’ riff that you could absolutely cruise to. Complete with some wicked wah-pedal work and a bangin’ solo, you should be satisfied with the diversity of the riffs and songs. They each have their own hook and element to them. Another upside to this release is how raw and unprocessed the sound is. That being said, the tones work well together and leave a great amount of headspace for the flying vocals to fill. It’s far from being “over-produced” and sits in the back pocket of raw rock n’ roll music.
Written by Ben Cornel
*edited by Chris Aitkens