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Album Review

Caroline?s Spine?s first album is pretty much what it intended to be ? a post grunge/punk breakthrough debut that ended up on a major label and doesn?t really suffer for it at all. If anything it?s because bandleader Jimmy Newquist is a pretty good judge of his band?s skills as a producer and in combination with engineer Don Calderone made sure they played to it. There?s grunge?s thick flow of sound, post-adolescent questioning about love and life and above all even amidst lyrical declarations of sorrow and confusion the music shifts up gears to peppy energy easily enough. Newquist?s singing has a fair amount of the early nineties? ready tendency to equate anguished and slightly strained vocals with automatic depth, admittedly, but compared to the self-loving idiocy of early Stone Temple Pilots there?s no contest. Admittedly a few of the lyrics are vague imagery without much in the way of impact, thus the title track, but that?s made up for by the sharp self-character study ?So Good Afternoon.? Much of what works about Monsoon comes in sudden moments that aren?t breathtakingly original but work perfectly in context ? the drop in of acoustic guitars in ?You and Me? after the feedback has kicked in, the lush extra guitar and suddenly distorted vocals on ?Unglued,? the sly semi-thrash parody ?Necro.? The best song, ?Sullivan,? is a surprisingly affecting reworking of the story of the family who lost all five of its sons in a World War II naval attack. Newquist?s voice is both affecting and yearning, and the abrupt lead guitar figure is downright beautiful ? if the band deserves to be remembered for anything, it?s this great radio-ready history lesson that connects rather than patronizes.

Customer Reviews

Essential Spine

Caroline's Spine emerged in the mid-90's after several years of preparation by Jimmy Newquist (lead singer/songwriter. Though the band only plays together sporadically anymore (as of 11/2006) this CD remains one of my favorites. While it may cater to a college crowd with lyrics of broken relationships and betrayal...the overall quality of the melodies make this a very, very good rock album. Any group that can build an allegiance of fans in Tulsa, Oklahoma (of all places) where they grew from frat parties of a few hundred to Riverparks Amphitheater (upwards of 2000)...they deserve a listen.

This band rocked! (past tense)

This is good stuff, I wish that there was more like it out there. Oh yeah, Buy this on itunes, because you can't find it anywhere else. wHOo!

Sullivan Rocks

I first caught these guys in the late 90's at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. They're a great live band and their albums never got true support. Sullivan is a great rock song with a powerful story from our nation's past. Download this song and Wallflower today!

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

The alternative rock group Caroline's Spine consists of vocalist/guitarist Jimmy Newquist, guitarist Mark Haugh, bassist Scott Jones and drummer Jason Gilardi. The band's consistent touring found them sharing the bill with a wide array of artists, including Catherine Wheel, Better Than Ezra, KISS and Aerosmith. Their 1997 debut...
Full Bio
Monsoon, Caroline's Spine
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