Cars Can Be Blue – Trace The Tension
The latest record from Athens, GA trio Cars Can Be Blue has everything you could want in an album, catchy hooks, quirky lyrics and sweet vocal harmonies. This simplistic formula is nothing new but when done right (as it is here) it can sound pretty damn good (as it does here).
Trace The Tension is 14 tracks full of fast paced tunes that start wide assed open and never slow down. Their music is not for the faint of heart because no subject matter is off limits and they can get as crude and rude as the next band. Don’t think of it as obscene because the tunes are not delivered that way, well maybe one is. Kicking things off is a track about fooling around, “You Gave Me”. Blistering guitars and thunderous rhythms mixed with Becky Brooks’ vocals explodes out of the speakers setting the listener up for what is to come. Sometimes Nate Mitchell takes on the vocals and his guttural wail is a nice compliment to Brooks’ melodic warble. On tracks like “On & On” and “Banging My Head” Brooks’ vocals veers the song into a pop direction and when Mitchell takes lead the songs become a chaotic marriage of noise and punk rock like on “You Should Be Begging”. When they share the vocal duties that is where the songs shine with the best of both worlds, just listen to “Monster” or “Lie”.
I have never really listened to Cars Can Be Blue until this record and after giving it a spin I had to smack myself for waiting so long. They are not afraid to do their own thing and refuse to follow any set musical standards. For some bands this is a disaster waiting to happen, for them it equals some pretty damn good music.