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These Four Walls - Single Review: Carousel

04 May 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Aotearoa-born and Queensland-based rockers These Four Walls’ mission is well and truly on the move. That mission is to further evolve from their previous LP This is Not a Future, from 2020. Their prior single Marigold was met with great acclaim, including a glowing 5-star review HERE by fellow reviewer Jack.

It’s a new year; time for a shiny new single. And the four-man group have now brought the world Carousel. While the earlier single was melodically searing and emotively spiny, this new song could be even more powerful.

Let’s hop on and take a ride.

You’re immediately swept into a spirally, deeply Middle Eastern-esque keyboard/synth riff, over a storm of guitar chords. As a fan of so-called “world music” tones and sounds being incorporated into modern rock and metal, this is a delight to my ears.

And there’s something a bit '2000’s pop' about that two-bar vocal stint in the pre-choruses of

“You wouldn’t read about the brighter side of life”

Give it a listen; I can’t put my finger on why. Surely I’m not the only person who hears this!

Like a lot of These Four Walls’ music, they’re written and focused on making you move, and making you feel something. Gray’s solid guitar work and Brad’s groove-heavy drumming certainly makes sure of the former. As for the latter, Steve Gibb’s vocals covers that ground, but also serves up a lot of great lyrics to address a hot topic issue of this decade.

On the single’s subject matter, Steve said “It’s about the current trend of negativity in the news cycles. It’s about the doom scrolling addiction that we wake up with every day when the first thing we do is reach for our phones”.

I don’t usually focus on a song’s lyrics much, but there’s a lot of tasteful and poetic metaphors going on throughout Carousel. In summary of many peoples’ habits of resorting to social media for updates, Steve sings:

The lights lead on, the lights lead on,

Round and round the merry-go ‘TIL WE’RE SICK!

Also, the best line of the song has to be:

I’m in the field of taking bad advice. Business is booming and it's paying out in spite

As we emerge from the miasma of discomposure that was 2020-2022, we see some people are still stuck into social media’s misinformation and disinformation, and that particular line seems to point to this phenomenon. It might not have been exactly what our lyricist had in mind, but to these ears, it’s about knowing the power of disinformation and acknowledging its toxicity.

A more pertinent and edgy point could not be made in a modern hard-rock tune, and for that, it deserves an award of some kind.

Those into big, amphitheatre -filling guitar-and-drum riffs will be silly to not give this a listen. The impassioned and driving chorus will have you humming the main melody even after just one listen. Moreover, under the musical hood, the song covers a highly relevant societal issue, and pleads for awareness.

So, force-close your Facebook page, and instead, open your music app of choice and give Carousel a round of listens.

Check it out on Spotify, Bandcamp and YouTube!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About These Four Walls

These Four Walls are a hard rock band originally formed in Auckland, New Zealand and now based on Queensland’s Gold Coast. They’ve recorded and released two full-length albums, Down Falls an Empire (2009) and Living to Write the End (2012), with their third album This Is Not A Future due for release on 24 April, 2020.

The band are well-known in both Australia and New Zealand for their live shows, which are typically tight, heavy and high-powered performances punctuated by powerful melodic vocals from singer Steve Gibb. Their well-earned reputation as a powerhouse live act has earned the band support slots for several touring international acts including Disturbed (USA), Nickelback (CAN), Trivium (USA), Seether (SA), P.O.D. (USA), Fuel (USA), Theory of A Deadman (CAN) and Trapt (USA), as well as top Australian rock acts Karnivool and The Butterfly Effect, and Kiwi bands such as Devilskin and Blacklistt.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for These Four Walls

Releases

This Is Not A Future
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Alternate Futures
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Live At Loose Stones Studios
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Living To Write The End
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Down Falls An Empire
Year: 2009
Type: Album
These Four Walls
Year: 2007
Type: EP

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