A couple of people have expressed interest in hearing this band, a post-Slint project of Brian McMahan, and I'm all for sharing with a purpose! Slint themselves are pretty well known by most people but the For Carnation seem to slip under the radar somewhat. Personally, I think this album rivals Spiderland itself for atmospherics, intensity and, of course, emotional potency.
Touch and Go have recently released the first two For Carnation EPs (Fight Songs and Marshmallows) together on CD under the name of Promised Works, so now is as good a time as any to promote the group. Blend over at Zen Face posted this album way back at the start of the year, but the link has lapsed so I'll take the liberty of doing this repost myself and putting in his excellent description of the band:
"The For Carnation's recipe is simple. Or more accurately, simplicity. With ex members of Slint, their modus operandi is to take the most basic principles of the formers sound and play them out over long dark expanses of time. The result is an extremely bleak and delicate framework of carefully placed notes and rhythms. Some songs drift by barely noticed like creeping shadows on the wall, others warp the air around you, building a slow and steady terror. The pulsating beacon of Being Held is near the point of utter devastation before a heavy beat brings it all together with menacing result. Nothing is in excess, and nothing is wasted. Even the vocals are bare and minimal, evoking a darkness not unlike the cover art. Despite the sparse use if instrumentation the songs slowly lurch into a deep and murky voodoo blues groove. The songs have a definite slow burn and almost a sexiness, like watching a flickering fire dance before your eyes. The playing and production are tops and richness and texture of the songs is very evident on repeated listens."
An inspired commenter also described this album as "like being inside the awful pulses of someone's neuroses". I don't think I would go as far as that, and I think a lot of the music is quite aesthetically pleasurable or even soothing, at least on a passing listen. Nevertheless, as with Slint, this is wonderfully and challengingly intense music, and you will quite likely be captivated by the unique, yet effortlessly smooth post-rock sound.
This time I have only uploaded the first three songs, for various reasons (among them being Touch and Go's rather touchy policy on music blogs), making up presumably the first side of the vinyl. From the standard bearer track and seductive opening of 'Emp. Man's Blues' to the gripping, claustrophobic mid-piece of 'Being Held', this should definitely be enough to get a good feel for this band.