CAR CITY: Self-titled: LP

Jan 30, 2019

A Northeastern Wisconsin supergroup of sorts, Car City includes Tenement’s Amos Pitsch, acoustic punk stalwart Walt Hamburger, and Timm Buechler, probably best known for being in Rebel Waltz before he started touring with ex-Nerves. The engine (if I must) of Car City, however, is the potentially less-widespread Jason Lemke, who was in 88 MPH, should you remember them. Car City is his baby; these songs were carried about in his head for years, smuggled through the minefield of life like an heirloom wristwatch up the butt of a crafty and sentimental prisoner of war. His songs are thick, steadfastly midtempo, poppy rock numbers—melodic, but rarely overtly catchy. One supposes this lends them a modicum of soul-felt authenticity. The first side comes and goes pleasantly enough, with four sturdy-but-samey tunes split by a mushier ditty in 6/8 time. Side A starts much like side B: With me shrugging and reminding myself that I had to listen to the Replacements’ Tim album about four dozen times before it finally took root. With “Foolish Pride,” my ears perk up. With “Challenger,” the record has my full attention. With “Soul Jam,” I’m ready to stand up and cheer. And then... it’s over. There are only nine songs, and the three best ones are at the end. So, either Car City are a slow acting poison that takes six songs to metabolize, or these guys are a bunch of dipshits from Wisconsin who have sequenced their record absolutely, completely backwards. I guess it is a backwards place, ain’t it? BEST SONG: “Soul Jam” or “Challenger.” BEST SONG TITLE: None known. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I’ve had an 88 MPH button on the lapel of my white leather jacket for about the last fifteen years. –Rev. Nørb (Plant Music, pmrc.xyz)

 

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