Take One Car - It's Going to Be a Nice Day
Record Label: Independent
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Take One Car are an experimental post-hardcore band from Millerton, New York. They released their debut album, When the Ceiling Meets the Floor in 2009, turning heads with its crushing ferocity and up-front ambitiousness, while simultaneously incorporating intricate songwriting typically unheard of in their niche. Now, in 2012, Take One Car have completed their sophomore offering, It’s Going to Be a Nice Day, which demonstrates an expected sonic maturity for the band, but with an atypical showing of talent and expertise as they seek to carve out a new, more distinctly defined vision from their previous effort.
Let’s start things off with what undoubtedly is the centerpiece for the full length of the album: the voice. Tyler Irish’s despair-laden vocals are rooted entirely in the purpose of emotional impact rather than melodic appeal, yet still can be taken stylistically as very melodically appealing once the emotional impact is fully ascertained. Irish’s voice is cracked, frantic, and shaky throughout most of the album, with the exceptions being certain lyrical points where his narration is less simply expressive of his emotions and are instead a deduction about why they exist—and who to blame for it.
More often than not, the melodic harmonies are left in the very capable and beautifully immersive hands of the guitar work. It’s Going to Be a Nice Day has a very interesting medley of influences in its guitar work. One moment there will be the post-hardcore and pop-rock & roll riffs one would expect from early Thrice or Empires, and the next moment will shift to a dark and proggy textured soundscape that has a lot in common with post-rock but at the same time maintains a grungier, distorted take to suit the album’s theme. The best way to classify Take One Car’s sound is ambient rock & roll, simply because when left to specifics the listener would be given an overly hyphenated mess of distinctly different sounds, much unlike the very well-written compositions said mess seeks to describe.
Examples of the aforementioned transitions occur so often throughout the entire album that its overall nature becomes dubious and metamorphic, allowing for an intense fluidity of emotional expression. The opener/title track happens to exemplify this phenomenon best with its sludgy yet uplifting post-rock style riffs which lead into rougher and edgier mini-solos, earning Take One Car extra points for presenting the core of their songwriting immediately instead of hiding it behind a catchy single that lures the listener in with unmet expectations. Where other bands hold back the listeners’ emotional connection with mismatched songwriting, Take One Car excel.
In the end, unlike most releases, I feel that It’s Going to Be a Nice Day has greater appeal as an artistic expression rather than as fanservice. The music truly takes a life of its own, vibrantly flowing along in the precise direction the band intended for it.