Requiring Absolute Zero Tolerance for Genre Continuity: Little Green Cars’ Absolute Zero

By Charissa Lock

The explosive nature that track eight forms and ignites is at such a magnificent level, your critiquing mind will have difficulty keeping up with your emotional stupor.  You won’t even know what hit you when “The John Wayne” paralyzes your soul.  With this frightfully welcoming feeling in perspective, it would be close to impossible to have the rest of the album result of track after track of manic reactions.

At first disappointment rushes through you, you thought you could be revitalized eleven times in one sitting, how silly of you.  You then try to make sense of where the rest of the tracks fit next to this protruding compositional masterpiece.   There’s not necessarily anything ‘wrong’ with the rest of the album and with multiple catchy songs you feel slightly guilty at how critical you’re being to the young five-piece band from Dublin.   Yet, the looming atmosphere of “The John Wayne” continues to suffocate you, leaving you to realize that in order to enjoy the entirety of Absolute Zero [Glassnote Records] (Out Now) you must make a decision.  Either take each song for what it is with all comparisons null and void, or…wait for their next album.

The former choice is worth it for quite a few reasons.   First of all, vocals are powerful and harmonies effortless with a pleasant mixture of males and female.  With some songs dedicated to male or female, with choruses (for the most part) having the other keep things flowing peacefully together so that you are free of vocal choppiness.  The enjoyable journey the melodies take you, find you trying to add in your own harmony, with a smile creeping across your face waiting for the classic one-liner or catchy chorus.  With a flavorful mix of up-tempo and quieter tracks, the predictable or boring sensation flees by track three when you get a sense that this will be a surprising journey.

By being unpredictable, the instrumental theme seems to bounce around, one moment folk (“Consequences”) then suddenly you’re stuck knee-deep in semi-shoegaze (“Red and Blue”).  An understanding of this being the first album of talented (and young) musicians relaxes your hold on genre categorizing, so that you’re not overloaded with confusion.   Also, you take note that the lyrical theme of heartbreak can be found dotted throughout (compounding one’s soul with “Kitchen Floor”) through the unleashing of one’s heart through both male and female lips.  Having both perspectives is quite genius, specifically as they are correlated to the ‘genre’ and instrumental tendencies the songs follow.  “The Kitchen Floor” is a slow, hair-raising outpouring of a female finding her true love with another, sung almost accapella with hauntingly clear and boisterous vocals.  The male version of heartbreak in “Consequences” is more of a combination between guitar and quiet, quirky vocals.

With so many different elements flooding through Absolute Zero, the fitting choice is containing them all in a ‘broken heart’ category.  Of course there are a few that don’t quite make the theme cut off, but with those tracks, you seem not to notice that they are stragglers – “Big Red Dragon” happens to be my favorite song besides…well…you know.  As the most upbeat of them all, with whimsical attributes compacting tightly into a giant ball of energy.  “Them” is another great tune hosting a catchy guitar melody, with falsetto male vocals carving the verses into head back exhaling of the soul leading to a delightful chorus.  The more I gather acceptance of inequality and listens, the more tracks are peaking out, begging for attention.

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