The For Carnation Promised Works

The For Carnation Promised Works
Mention Slint and a conversation about post-rock will erupt in seconds. But mention the For Carnation and you’ll likely get a confused "who?” For some reason, this Slint offshoot never fared as well as the others, never reaching the same acclaim as Papa M or Gastr Del Sol. Instead, the For Carnation lingered in obscurity and this is strange, considering that principal member, Brian McMahan, was the voice behind his former group. Nevertheless, with Slint in full-on reunion mode, Touch and Go has given the For Carnation some reissue action in the form of Promised Works, a single disc that collects two EPs: 1995’s Fight Songs and 1996’s Marshmallows (both originally on Matador). For those who missed them the first time these two For Carnation offerings show the sombre side of McMahan, one far removed from Slint’s noise-driven tension. He explores subdued, introspective terrain, relying at times on the unhurried rhythms of Tortoise’s Doug McCombs and John Herndon, and his own minor-key guitar strums, sounding more like early Red House Painters or Codeine than anything on Spiderland. And all things considered, these decade-old recordings have aged surprisingly well, with McMahan’s talk-talk vocal delivery sounding as unique as ever. Despite the lack of any added goodies, Promised Works is a must for any self-respecting Slint fan, or any fan of good music. (Touch and Go)