INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
R2 OCTOBER 2012 - by Trevor Hodgett
CARMEL: THE DRUM IS EVERYTHING / THE FALLING
Carmel, a Manchester-based trio fronted by Carmel McCourt, had an unusual line-up of vocals, double bass and drums, which made their music distinctive. They found brief success in the mid-'80s with hits like More, More, More and Bad Day.
The simple lyrics and melody of More, More, More, from their debutalbum The Drum Is Everything, won't satisfy everyone but a pleasingly complex and detailed soundscape is created, with guest Pete Saunders's surging Hammond organ and the Sounds 18 horns adding much interest.
The radical rearrangement of Willow Weep For Me is surely misjudged, however, for the song's elegant lyrics are lost amidst the neurotically busy backing and its affecting melody is largely disregarded. But there again, the band's interpretation of Tracks Of My Tears similarly seems to ignore most of the virtues that made The Miracles' original so compelling and yet the treatment works because of its appropriately bleak intensity.
Follow-up album The Falling, on which Brian Eno produced two tracks, features increasingly sophisticated arrangements. The hip-shaking Sally became a sizeable European hit. Both albums include several B-sides and remixes as bonus tracks.