Monday, July 1, 2013

CD Review: Little Green Cars - Absolute Zero


Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.

Little Green Cars have been attracting a lot of attention for the way all five members of this youthful Dublin-based band weave their voices together. Their compelling debut, Absolute Zero, is steeped in folk traditions but often breaks loose with energetic playing not far removed from U2. The 11 songs are noteworthy for the way 20-year old lead vocalist-guitarist and chief songwriter Faye O'Rourke blends relationships with mystery and an occasional touch of offbeat humor.

“Harper Lee” begins with vocalist-guitarist Stevie Appleby’s evocative voice floating over a slow, sparse arrangement, but by the song’s rollicking conclusion, he’s complaining about an extended family of mice eating him out of house and home. Set to an ominous drumbeat, the first single, “The John Wayne,” finds danger in romance with the line, “It’s easy to hate yourself when all your love is inside someone else.” “Big Red Dragon” sets images of ghosts and monsters to a driving beat, while the shimmering “Angel Owl” is more spiritual. Appleby closes Absolute Zero on an introspective note with his solo performance of “Goodbye Blue Monday.”

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