Review: Dead Winter Carpenters shine on new EP ‘Sinners ‘N’ Freaks’
North Lake Tahoe’s Dead Winter Carpenters released a new 5-song EP on April 24. The group’s fifth studio effort coincides with their 10th anniversary.
The alt-country band put out a well-rounded EP from start to finish and gives a wide range of emotions in just a handful of songs.
The first song kicks off with a bang with the title song Sinners ‘n’ Freaks. Guitarist Jesse Dunn and Jenni Charles (fiddle) harmonize their voices together on this song that’ll get your party boots stompin’. It sounds appropriate ask for the lord to save room for the sinners and freaks. The bridge in this one gives each instrument their time to shine with a short solo; a sign that shows more could come during a live performance. Nick Swimley gets a chance to let the electric guitar loose. DWC received some help from friend Jackie Greene on the piano as well, which is nice to see some collaboration from another great musician.
Jenni Charles’ voice shines on Time Off The Bottle. The second song comes much softer, but with strong lyrics. “I got a wild tongue, cuts straight to the bone; in this dark hour, I’m all alone” shows great songwriting. The slower tempo of the song really sets the tone for a subject that many people could relate to.
Dunn and Swimley do a great job of storytelling on the song Cornerstone. The very soft and catchy song has much depth as each verse brings a new piece of the story. Greene’s Hammond B3 Organ shines beautifully and fits the song perfectly. The story really paints a picture, and each verse flows wonderfully into Charles’ great fiddle playing.
The song also gives a nod to “the old Red Dog Saloon” in Virginia City, where the band has played several times.
Lift Me Up continues the soft, strong lyrical songs. This one has Dunn leading and you can hear the emotion pour from his voice as Charles backs him up perfectly. The two trade places as Charles sings the second verse. There’s deep emotion in this song and it’s very short and sweet.
Green Room Baby is a dance number to close out the EP and brings everything full circle back to the explosive first track. It has a swingy feel to it that makes you want to move your feet and shake your hips. The lyrics are simple but catchy, the kind of song you’ll have stuck in your head later on.
Sinners ‘N Freaks is pleasant to listen to, and the music roots are deep into country and rock and roll. It’s well produced and sounds very professional. These songs will make for great additions to DWC’s live performances.
Dead Winter Carpenters and Matt Baxter produced the album; John Cuniberti mastered it. Guitarist Jesse Dunn wrote tracks 2, 4 and 5 and he teamed up with Nick Swimley on tracks 1 and 3.
DWC Members/Instruments: Jesse Dunn (acoustic guitar, vocals), Jenni Charles (fiddle, vocals), Nick Swimley (electric guitar, vocals), Brendan Smith (drums, percussion, vocals), Jeremy Plog(bass, baritone guitar, electric guitar, vocals) Guest musician: Jackie Greene (piano, Hammond B3 organ).
To listen to Sinners ‘N Freaks, visit:
The band is asking for a $10 suggested donation for the EP. To find out how to donate and more information visit their website deadwintercarpenters.com