"Scott Townsend is no stranger to Already Dead, formerly playing in both LAW$UITS and Video Daughters, and his debut solo record as Hard Job doesn't disappoint. For those familiar with the former groups, 'Carvest' packs a recognizable punch, creating a glorious mess of grunge, alt, and noise rock. It differs from Scott's past efforts in that it is often more stripped down, intimate, and at times even autobiographical.
Much of 'Carvest' speaks to life in your thirties and many of the situations we all face. "I Look at Miserable" is a well-balanced track that pulls together a thick catchy bass loop, screeching riffs, and vocals dripping with sarcasm. This opener sets the tone for the album, and is a fun, nostalgic '90s alt-rock tune. "White Noise" is a bit stripped down, yet has a similar mock anthem energy. That's a common theme as much of the album appears simple at first—loop, guitar, and vocals, but it's what Scott does with those elements that makes the album unique and infectious. "Pay Attention to Me Blues" feels most like the album's hit single, heavily reminiscent of R.E.M. and Sebadoh. "Stormin' Norman's Social Security Check" is a stripped down acoustic number, with a western vibe and heart-on-your-sleeve honesty, taking on a different energy than much of the album.
Overall the record hits a lot of different notes and moods, while still remaining cohesive. "Dating in Your 30's" has a playful, upbeat energy, while "Art Crime" is a darker track that matches the moody, sarcastic vocals that are the album's one true constant. "Walk (Away) This Way" is the album's ballad and comes heavy with the Michael Stipe vibes. Album closer "The (Community) College Try" is another standout track when defining Hard Job's sound—vocals taking the lead over a driving drum loop, brought together with noisy, distorted riffs.
'Carvest' is an enjoyable, assiduous, and noisy work of nostalgia, the perfect listen for fans of grunge, noise, and alt-rock."