JIM WALSH, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS - In addition to producing one of the most entertaining local 'zines around in 'The Catch O' the Day the wryly romantic men of Carp 18 have uncorked a solid debut disc that rocks as hard as it bobs, and twangs as sweetly as it croons. 'I got my favorite nightspot,' sings Fahey, as Trailer Trashman/Gear Daddy Randy Broughten's pedal steel lopes down the country classic-sounding 'Blue Highway.' 'It's in the middle of nowhere/ All the girls are friendly, and they don't know what to wear/ The old jukebox is all that talks, and that's all I wanna hear/ And the blender's always dusty, 'cos all they serve is beer. Therein lies Carp 18's m.o. and appeal. Those who seek something more adventurous should look and listen elsewhere, for along with plenty of beer, the Carps have obviously absorbed plenty of local heroes, such as the Gear Daddies and Slim Dunlap. The Tom Herbers produced 'Russian Racehorse has a perfectly slapdash feel to it, and is filled with equally slapdash homespun wisdom ('The Best of Nothing,' 'Blue Highway'). modern-life lamentations ('Me & My Computer'), moments of real poignancy ('Time to Change') and at least one ode to the bliss of beer ('Hauswrming Party'). The trio also gets big points for delivering what is quite possibly the first release in the history of recorded music that features a hidden track ('Unlisted Number') recorded live at Stand Up Franks -- and a jewel-box sticker that brags about it. DENEEN GANNON, CAKE MAGAZINE - Fans of the Geardaddies would flip over this CD. Their musical sounds are quite similar (Randy Broughten does some of his cool pedal steel playing here), although Carp 18 has a stronger rock streak running throughout. The disc is well produced by local producer Tom Herbers, and is solid throughout. I really dig this band's rock/country groove. They're good players with a knack for writing catchy songs. My personal favorite is 'Me & My Computer' which is catchy as hell and lyrically pretty funny (my boyfriend and I are big computer freaks so we can relate to this tune). An overall really pleasing and satisfying release from the local Carp 18. Buy this disc. STACIA PROEFROCK, ALL MUSIC GUIDE - Russian Racehorse, the debut album from Minneapolis-based roots rockers Carp 18 shows amazing range. From the punky Husker Du-esque 'Man on a Mission' and 'I Luv Luv' to a host of jangly tunes to atribute to boy sleuth Encyclopedia Brown, Russian Racehorse shows that a group of northern boys with guitars can rock out in many ways. Some of the more clever sounds have echoes of irony-infused bands like the Modern Lovers, while the countryfied aggressive style of the band as a whole can make them sound like a backing band for Steve Earle. Overall this is a fine collection for a newly minted band with a few rough edges, but a lot of promise. About the Artist Minneapolis band Carp 18 formed in 1991 in order to drink beer, write songs and play covers by Neil Young, REM & The Replacements to name a few. After a self-produced demo tape put them into the 'KJJO Minneapolis Best Unsigned Band Contest' the band hit the Minneapolis club scene. Their next couple demos yielded much local radio airplay and kudos from the music industry including Twin Tone/Medium Cool founder Peter Jesperson who stated that 'Carp 18 is a great rock & roll band.' 'Russian Racehorse' is the result of much hard work & play; a great deal of fun and a few years worth of hard-earned gig money. Band members: Joe Fahey: guitar & vocals Dave Helgerson: bass & vocals Paul Schmitt: drums & vocals.