In many ways, Carina Round’s The Disconnection is a stereotypical Interscope Records release. Anyone familiar with the label’s lineage will remember its 1990s roster included such acts as Nine Inch Nails, Dr. Dre and Limp Bizkit. The common ground shared by these disparate performers is that they started off as seemingly outsider acts with just enough commercial viability to make them financially bankable providing they found the right niche.
Enter the virtually unknown Carina Round’s US debut which sets her up like a shadowy Nelly Furtado, cramming as many eclectic sounds together as possible to laundry list all of her sunken-eyed and morose influences. There’s creepy monotone and manic background vocals on “In My Blood,” horns and a springy acoustic guitar slink on the exuberant “Paris,” grunge inspired drop-D tunings on “Monument” and so on.
Surprisingly, Round has little trouble tying all her roots together to make a decently cohesive album. Still, while every track has its individual merits, there isn’t any specific song that stands out as an obvious, radio-friendly single. This is unfortunate as the six-minute, down-strummed dark psychedelica of “Elegy” alone is better than the totality of the pseudo-Christian rock farts that make up Evanescence’s Fallen.
Round was supposed to be a part of this summer’s now cancelled Lollapalooza tour. It would have given her a decent chance to connect with a sizeable modern rock fringe following, but now, who knows… Hopefully this doesn’t prove to be an insurmountable setback, because The Disconnection is everything a fan of modern rock radio could ask for, only better.