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Little Green Cars: Absolute Zero

Track List

>Harper Lee
>Angel Owl
>My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me
>Consequences of Not Sleeping, The
>Big Red Dragon
>Red and Blue
>Kitchen Floor, The
>John Wayne, The
>Goodbye Blue Monday

Album Reviews:

Q (Magazine) (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he harmonies between guitarists Stevie Appleby and Faye O'Rourke on 'Angel Owl' exude freshness."

Album Notes

Personnel: Adam O'Regan (vocals, guitar, piano); Steven Appleby (vocals, guitar); Faye O'Rourke (vocals, Wurlitzer organ); Dylan Lynch (vocals, drums); Donagh Seaver O'Leary (vocals).

Audio Mixer: Ruadhri Cushnan.

Recording information: Angelic Studios, Northamptonshire (04/2012).

Illustrator: Steve Doogan.

Arranger: Little Green Cars.

"Harper Lee," the alternately bloody and bucolic leadoff cut on Irish indie folk collective Little Green Cars' Glassnote debut, may not deal directly with the To Kill a Mockingbird author from whom it derives its name, but its fevered protagonist, who repeatedly intones "There's a gun in the attic/Let me go grab it/I'd blow holes in my soul just so you could look past it," echoes the loss of innocence at the heart of the Pulitzer Prize-winning story. It's a theme that obviously resonates with the group, whose members are barely in their twenties, but for each pounding of fists against the injustices of adulthood, there's a roar of pure, youthful joy, albeit tempered with the resigned bleat of heartache. The past is still too raw and relatively close to devolve completely into nostalgia, but co-lead vocalist Steven Appleby's throaty, emotive croon sounds as sentimental as it does world-weary, and it casts a wistful patina over otherwise stadium-ready songs like the aforementioned "Lee" and "Big Red Dragon," the latter of which benefits greatly from Arcade Fire/Coldplay/Mumford & Sons producer Markus Drav's expansive knob twiddling. Absolute Zero switches gears when guitarist/vocalist Faye O'Rourke takes the helm, especially on the evocative, gospel-tinged "My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me," shifting from earthy, Frightened Rabbit/Band of Horses-inspired introspection to soulful, full-on Florence + the Machine/Anna Calvi-infused bombast, but Appleby and O'Rourke manage to complement each other more times than not, resulting in a kind of Tango in the Night-era Fleetwood Mac-meets Lady Antebellum style of gender juggling, Americana-kissed indie pop that seems ripe for the radio. In fact, the only real misstep on the extremely likable Absolute Zero is the forgettable "Red and Blue," a perfectly good song that's ruined by an oppressive (and dated) amount of Auto-Tune, a gimmick that should never be wasted on people who can actually sing. ~ James Christopher Monger


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