Carlton Melton - South St Arts Centre, Reading - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Carlton Melton - South St Arts Centre, Reading

by Steve Reynolds Rating:10 Release Date:2012-09-30

Carlton Melton are a three-piece from California and bring their potent mix of droning psychedelia all the way to Reading's idyllic South St. They aren't your average young indie upstarts; Andy Duvall (Guitar / drums), Rich Millman (Guitar / Synth) and Clint Golden (Bass Guitar) probably total over 100 years in age. They shuffle on to the stage unassumingly but what they might not offer in poncy haircuts, crap attitude and image, they more than make up for in intensity, musical guile and brooding power.

Setup to do an hour, their set consists of only six songs of which the majority come from their new album Always Even. Opener 'Country Ways' is the calm before the storm with its dormant murmuring guitar. Strummed incessantly, its subtle slow looping pace hoodwinks the uninitiated (myself included) about what is about to be unleashed - hefty, incendiary sonic landscapes.

It all comes to fruition when Duval shifts from his guitar stool out front and takes the drum stool at the back. His motorik delivery is the perfect foil for Rich Millman's guitar play which builds and builds steadily, producing a hypnotic maelstrom of strength and captivation. 'Sarsen' is an absolute fucking beast of a song. Taken from the new album, the live version offers much more.It's an exquisite explosion of experimental tree-shaking, knee-trembling noise and melody.

They depart with 'Out to Sea', which rounds off a simply breath-taking set perfectly. Look out for their new album and an expected tour again in April 2014. I'm salivating at the thought of it already.

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