Album Review: Little Green Cars – Absolute Zero (2013 LP)

If you’ve been anywhere near a radio or TV in the last couple of months you would have no doubt heard a catchy tune with an infectious shout along chorus about a certain John Wayne. If, like me, you’ve had that delicious track stuck in your head since the moment you heard it and have been scouring your local record store (or the internet) for some more semi country-rock (but country in the good way, not the Casey Chambers way), never fear, you wait is over. The Irish five piece, LIttle Green Cars, have released their long awaited debut Absolute Zero, an eleven track release, which serves up an engaging, catchy and surprisingly deep dose of country-rock, complete with those ever charming Irish accents and of course, their latest hit, ‘The John Wayne’.

Admittedly upon first listen of the album, I was pretty confident to write off the band as a one hit wonder, incapable of living up to the quirky coolness of their first single. If you take anything away from this review, it’s this: do not give up, give the album a few listens before you consider writing it off. The somewhat difficult vocals of Faye O’Rourke at first seem to clash horribly with front man, Stevie Appleby, with O’Rourke’s strong, haunting and mesmerisingly deep vocals over powering Appleby’s catchy and lighthearted melodies.

But in this layering the album find its strength, with O’Rourke’s vocals soon forming a driving, almost percussive, force throughout the release. Appleby’s vocals then add another, easier, slightly more relaxed layer, with the overall effect a somewhat charmingly depressing, yet upbeat, journey through these young musicians travels into adulthood.

If you’re a fan of the Lumineers, Magic Numbers or Band of Horses, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Absolute Zero and give yourself a couple of spins to really appreciate this album. Its a little work, but the rewards are most certainly worth the effort, because without a doubt, Little Green Cars are destined for country-rock goodness, and will, hopefully, help shed some of the stigma attached to the country genre.

Review Score: 8.6 out of 10

Absolute Zero is in stores now through Liberator / Mushroom.