Little Green Cars - Absolute Zero
Knowing I was going to see Morrissey in Lawrence, KS on Tuesday, May 20 I was looking for places to stay and other things to do that could make it a nice short vacation. I knew I wanted to go the day before and come back the day after which left time to see what else might be happening in town. I was thinking of finding a local bar with some Monday night activity expecting Karaoke, Trivia, or something like that. However, I discovered a band was playing in a place called Record Bar so I looked the band up and was impressed.
The Little Green Cars from Ireland were the band and there seemed to be a lot of buzz that somehow I had not heard before. The harmonies were beautiful, the lyrics were poignant and full of youthful angst, and the talent seemed to be overflowing. I bought everything digitally I could find and was listening to them nonstop for about a month before heading to Lawrence.
It was about a week before going that I realized The Record Bar was in Kansas City and not Lawrence. Somehow the event calendar I googled for Lawrence events had kicked up this Kansas City club. Did I want to drive an extra hour to see this band and then drive back to Lawrence on the same day we drove 4 hours to get to Lawrence? I confess I would normally let inconvenience like this prevent me from doing something like this - but for once I decided to just do it and see what happened. Partly because I had recently entered the modern world and bought a smart phone so I knew navigation wouldn't be a problem. I was afraid Ron, my vacation buddy, wasn't too hip on the band as I had given him a USB with some tracks on it and his reply was they were a nice little pop band, but he surprised me by being all for an adventure and said let's go.
So anyway we made it to the club which was quite nice and had lots of convenient parking which isn't the case so often at smaller venues. Things were looking good. The opening band was adequate and seemed popular with the locals. For a Monday night I was impressed with the size and enthusiasm of the crowd. Enter Little Green Cars who walk to the stage and the lead singer just starts singing. It is quite and the singing seems embarrassing intimate. Just when it begins to feel awkward the female vocalist joins in and then the whole group starts harmonizing. It is beautiful and uplifting. The intensity is emotionally draining and invigorating. For the next hour and a half or so I am mesmerized and awestruck.
When they were done and I was floating back to reality I realized Ron was holding a CD, a vinyl single and a T-shirt and was grinning from ear to ear. He had converted to a new religion. Evidently he hadn't heard the right tracks from the USB I gave him. We were both so impressed with not just the talent of the band but with their presence on stage. You would never know they had preformed these songs hundreds of times before. You felt they were imagining it all right there in front of you. All the band members had such concentrated devotion to the music they were creating that even when they were not participating directly they were in poses of reverence.
Absolute Zero was released March of 2013. 8 of the 11 tracks were written by Stevie Appleby whose vocals throughout the album are stunningly personal. Harper Lee, The John Wayne, Them, and The Consequences of Not Sleeping are standouts penned by Stevie. Faye O'Rourke, the female vocalist whose soaring notes remind me of Zola Jesus, penned 2 songs, both amazing: Please, which was the song they opened with that Stevie sung with such stunning intimacy, and The Kitchen Floor which is a strong contender for my favorite song on the album. She co-penned the only track to get Adam O'Regan a writing credit, My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me, but it is a doozie. It is the most anthem worthy song on the album conjuring images and emotions of brutal power.
I am anxiously awaiting their next record, which I hope won't be too long ...though I haven't heard anything about new songs and they didn't perform any that night. With so much talent and the right amount of time I am sure they will please us with the next release. I do hope it is soon, but I am always willing to wait for quality.
Little Green Cars are:
Stevie Appleby: Guitar and Vocals
Dylan Lynch: Drums and Vocals
Donagh Seaver O'Leary: Bass and Vocals
Adam O'Regan: Guitar, Piano and Vocals
Faye O'Rourke: Piano [Wurlitzer] and Vocals