Review by Sean Lynch
RIYL: Stand of Oaks, The Glade, Madrugada
Recommended Tracks: Track 1 – “The Last Approval”
“It amazes me, the will of instinct” is the quote on the inside of the cover of Cocktails & Gasoline. The lyric that comes off of the song “Polly” from Nirvana shows the direction of the album and how there was absolutely no instinct at all in creating this album. Jonas Carping, a Swedish musician took the acoustic style of folk/country and added grungy vocals to it. The ensuing album shows what happens when you mix Cocktails & Gasoline; it becomes a mess.
“The Last Approval” has a weird vibe to it because of the mixture of grunge and acoustic. Carping’s vocals feel out of range and out of place on the track. The instruments prove to be the most solid part of the track. The bass is heavy and the guitars float out into oblivion. Even with the good work from the guitars, the track is muddled by the awful vocals.
“Dusk of Dawn” proves once again how bad the vocals are. The track starts with just the vocals and builds up to the instruments on the track. The guitar sets a jovial tone to the song but is messed up by the vocals. The vocals are way too dreary to be a part of the happy sound that the track is trying to create.
“Dive” does exactly what the song title means if Camping meant the quality of the song. The out-of-pitch wailing that begins the track set a bad tone to the song. The instruments sound dominated by the incomprehensible vocals. The grit that the vocals present are not genuine and sound like they should be placed on a heavier track instead of a softer acoustic track.
Cocktails & Gasoline shows how one element can derail a whole project. Camping’s vocals do not fit in with the style of music that is being performed. If the project was directed at using more grunge instead of folk/country, the vocals would have fit with the music so much better. Even with the help of the backing band, the vocals are so imposing that you can barely appreciate them. Stuck with this problem. Cocktails & Gasoline loses out and becomes a subpar album.