One Lone Car | North, South, East and the Rest (Uranus)

cd_olc.jpgWhile One Lone Car’s musical aptitude is validated by an unnerving blend of edgy guitar hooks, bold bass, and mechanical drumming, their talent is broadened by another gift: smart, oppressing, honest lyrics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite its potential inflation as a result of playing alongside prominent groups such as Gin Blossoms and Soul Asylum, One Lone Car’s accreditation is self deserved. This St. Louis-based quartet provokes an uncomfortably pervasive array of sentiments. One that is carefully centralized, for the intuitive listener, around an extraordinary sense of cynicism.

This seemingly innocent album is a product of masterful design. Disguised by a grabby overtone that screams popularization, North, South, East and the Rest is inundated with cold, dark hooks. While the album primarily consists of ostensibly buoyant tracks like "Singing Along" and "I Sleep," the listener is left feeling blithely disoriented when transitioning into "God’s Eye View" and "Villain." These tracks invoke the sense of agitation that can only be aroused by good rock.

While One Lone Car’s musical aptitude is validated by an unnerving blend of edgy guitar hooks, bold bass, and mechanical drumming, their talent is broadened by another gift: smart, oppressing, honest lyrics.

North, South is brimming with uncomfortable, bitter truths: "All I want from you is your money, honey," and apathetic proclamations: "Well, what do you know/ I guess I don’t have a soul." These are only the beginning of the biting truth as told by One Lone Car. North, South goes on to expose the fallacies of love’s irrationality. The being shamed by love, and the acceptance of apathy as a means of recovery. The adamant refusal to participate in mainstream mediocrity as a machine. These are words carefully crafted in unadulterated honesty.

The album concludes with a hidden track well deserving of its counterparts. Like a simmering explosive waiting to detonate, the lyrics of this hidden gem go through stages of destruction. First, a poppy cliché: "You had me at hello." Followed by a cynical stab: "And you had me at goodbye." Which is then pursued by a dark bitterness: "And you had my when you tore out my heart." Which is defused by a realization: "You have me when I’m down." And finally concludes with an apologetic and shameful lament: "Is it a problem/ If I don’t speak/ I know it’s awkward/ Just work with me."

North, South is a compilation of the kind of songs that breed curiosity about the origin of its creation. Having only listened to the sophomore effort, I am eager to examine One Lone Car’s growth from their debut album, Variety Hour. After all, why would I want to forgo further examination of the talent that produced such aesthetically edgy rock, and is fueled by such captivating lyrics? A+ | Amanda Pelle

RIYL: Rushmore Academy, Third Eye Blind, Halifax

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