Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., May 16, 2014
Presale customers of Full Service's ninth studio LP received regionally specific tree samplings with this disc. That loving connection to nature reveals itself immediately on Carousel, with opening pair "Honeybee" and "Evergreen" setting love stories amongst the flora and fauna. Downplaying the reggae and metal influences of previous efforts and finding a comfortable zone of smooth, sunny eclectic rock, the local grassroots quartet are liberated to employ cooing harmonies that lead into spring-heeled choruses where singer Hoag Kepner's tender voice can hang on a soulful line such as the Beatles-quality hook of "Huge Gray Blue." With a band like Full Service, fan-loving, tree-planting, community-minded posi-rockers that they are, inspiration remains the end goal, but I'd argue that the best moments on Carousel – the stony melodica creeping into "Two Old Birds," the unexpected shred solo on "Ba Da Ba," and the fluttering, motormouth intro on "Circus Freak" – occur when they get strange.