Two years after its eponymous debut, Moke returns with a colorful showcase of polished rock marked by some jarring sonic variations.

Two years after its eponymous debut, Moke returns with a colorful showcase of polished rock marked by some jarring sonic variations. The set finds the U.K. rockers embracing their mellower tendencies while simultaneously grasping outward for an edge. More than simply featuring the soft-to-screaming transitions long-since trite in alt-rock, Carnival integrates often markedly disparate sounds within a single track. "Slide" successfully slips from its easy rhythm into a blistering crunch, over which lead singer John Hogg rages against the machine. Mostly, though, the band scores highest where it stays focused, on such funky jams as "My Degeneration" and "So Much Better," as well as the acoustic "Don't Mind."—SB