Musical fusion is often something that can cause the listener to feel wary, and you’d be well within your rights to have concerns when faced with Carrier 21’s blend of indie rock and electronica.
The reality is that there’s no real cause for concern. Once ‘Last Thing for Summer’ has established itself, the band’s sound begins to clarify – a heady techno beat that thunders along as a firm foundation, while atmospheric synths and fizzy guitars provide some enthusiastic instrumentation. ‘One Step Ahead’ leans more towards lounge tones, with snappy guitar licks and smouldering female vocals, while ‘Electric’ flickers and flutters with its chopped up electronica. There are moments where Carrier 21 seems to be channeling early Garbage, via The XX – curious moments of experimentation appear throughout, and there are plenty of satisfyingly squelchy helpings of dubstep wobbles and scratches. In The Cloud passes through moments of calm and introspection – ‘A Shape In Mind’ allows time for the track to really breathe and then the vocals stand out, while ‘True Love’ rolls out some epic glissandos that create a true depth of atmosphere. While there are points on the album where the level of production falls short, the songs themselves don’t get too let down by this issue, and the writing itself is strong enough to show the abilities that Carrier 21 have between them.