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The Lost and Found
Carthage The Lost and Found
Released 22 October 2010
Producer Pat Donne
Label Carthage Records
Length 48:21
Genre Indie
Website www.carthagecarroll.com

With a name like that (Carthage Carroll) and an album cover bedecked with Egyptian hieroglyphs you might expect timeless grandeur akin to Lisa Gerrard. You might, but if you do, prepare to be disappointed. Because The Lost and Found is a showcase for a type of crying, unmanly indie keening that thrives solely on ill-deserved tolerance.

Opening 'Hang ‘Em Higher' sets out the stall: the murine cringing of an indie foot soldier that mistakes pathetic for plaintive. It’s a mistake repeated in 'Busy Little Bee', a line last heard from a petulant, immature Caesar in Gladiator. The third track, 'The Lost and Found' sounds like a premature mid-life crisis and its dismal atmosphere is hammered home by the whining, pleading 'Sunset Rise'.

'Elsinore All Over' gives us lyrics by Slipknot delivered in the tone of a teenager on the Samaritan’s hotline. That might sound cruel and cheap to one who hasn’t heard it. But when identification with The Dane is followed by tracks called 'Still Born' and 'Lock Up Your Soul', both dull monologues on internal rot and spiritual anaesthesia, what little sympathy there might have been exits stage left.

Boring moaning gives way to unsavoury emotional disability on 'Angel Light'. "I’ll be there to keep you warm" Carthage promises/threatens, now off the line to the Samaritans and onto someone else, perhaps with a handkerchief over the receiver. Not even Shayne “I wanna die in your arms” Ward was ever this creepy or mawkish. And this desire to be a hot water bottle is the last memorable moment of the album. 'Colour Blind', like a drunken blackout, spares us the indignity of remembering what it was all about, and 'Night Light' leaves us suspecting that this is what Carthage keeps burning during the wee small hours as he cries himself to sleep.

- Paul McGranaghan