Cars Can Be Blue
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Cars Can Be Blue

Athens, Georgia, United States | INDIE

Athens, Georgia, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



""Doubly Unbeatable" Review by Steven Ray Morris"

Initially I was turned off by Cars Can Be Blue's new record Doubly Unbeatable (Their second record on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records). The bitterness displayed in this collection of songs is so palpable you feel like you're trekking through a swamp. Luckily Cars Can Be Blue gives you a speedboat of garage band rocking and razor sharp melodies to hurl you through the muck.

The first six tracks of Doubly Unbeatable are a near flawless display of Pop and Rock music in ultimate synergy. Did I mention that these songs are fueled by bitter sarcasm? Check out "Coat Tails" a song calling out second-rate bands clinging to bigger bands for the press. It even includes the necessary Pitchfork bashing too. I love the descending melody as Becky Ann Brooks sings, "I don't care about that stuff/I've heard you talk and I've heard enough/blow out the candles on your birthday cake and wish yourself away/from me." She's got a practical voice and never wastes a single breath.

On "Hope Your Hurting," Cars Can Be Blue doesn't waste anytime uttering the refrain, "I hope your hurting now/I hope you hurt right now." They're the kind of lines we all like singing along with no matter our disposition. Even a line like, "I'm not saying that I hate you/Just because I can't date you," gets a lot of mileage because it cuts straight to the point.

Cutting straight to the point hits a ridiculously ridiculous level on the next track, "Pretty Special" when Becky calls out girls with groupie like behavior pleading with them, "Please put that pussy down/Cuz it's been all over town/And if you don't give it a rest/Have fun checking that pregnancy test." Ouch, pretty harsh don't you think? Though I like the way she sings the phrase, "You get them all with your big vagina," so I'm just as guilty.

"Ribbon" is pretty addicting with its thrashy instrumental nature and when Becky and Nate start shouting something about "Ribbon on your car!" it's pure, animalistic and fun.

At this point on Doubly Unbeatable Cars Can Be Blue start singing about penises, calling out fat people, cheap people and even attempt at trying to sell us merch. "Seems We're Breakin' Up" wraps things up nicely and puts a smart perspective on the entire album, or the band anyway.

The first half of Doubly Unbeatable is pure gold and even if its bitter sarcasm isn't your cup of tea, trust me it will be when you press play. There is something to be said about carrying this kind of manic energy and bitter sarcasm I just hope for Becky and Nate's sake that they aren't stewing in this stuff when sitting at home. It certainly can't get out of my head. - "Foggy Ruins of Time" music blog

"Cars Can Be Blue —Doubly Unbeatable review"

I love this band. A small dual-ponytailed post-feminist rageaholic ranter frontwoman (Becky Brooks) and her penis-obsessed drummer male band partner (Nate Mitchell), coming off like twisted moral libertarians creating zines in their trailer on the edge of a Southern state industrial lot, meth fumes leaking in from the bikers next door, various poseurs buried in their beer-can littered backyard. Except instead of the small press they write, record, and perform those screeds as pop culture mocking girl group harmonized Borderline Personality Disorder (oh yeah, they got it, or they're fronting real well) Modern Lovers-driven love-hate odes to the haters and shit-lovers of this world.

Doubly Unbeatable follows up their 2005 debut All The Stuff We Do with a broader palette, a bit less angst in some of the tracks, and still contains the magic of a subversively simple sing-along perverted pop duo saying more than you think when you hear them sing.

The messages this time are often more subtle than the grateful odes to abortion and superhero-fucking on their first album, but the sixteen songs here add the production zing of red state production prince Jeff ("Flesh Hammer") Walls (Woggles, Guadacanal Diary). The cruelty of the parody here on the absolutely gut-gouging funny-as-hell but not cool, not cool at all "Cycle of Violence" (in which Mitchell growls uncomfortable lines like "if you want to raise a kid then you got to raise a welt").

Cars Can Be Blue are at their best when Brooks is slapping a sycophant silly ("Pretty Special" with its sweet band-slut bashing lyrics "You get them all with your big vagina / I guess you are their biggest fan" and "Please put that pussy down / because it's been all over town") or even slyly subverting a seemingly hopeful love song (the "sassy" opener, "Sun Blows Up," which is a gorgeous love musical love letter that hides its internalization of atomic annihilation until you've heard it maybe three or four times).

Oddly, some of the nastiest songs are also the most musical, whereas the more merciful tracks are not as catchy. She is one unbelievably mean elf though at times, and Mitchell is one joyful collaborator, injecting each of her poison frosting cake flowers with his own tumescent venom.

There are soon-to-be-classics here ("Pretty Special," "Seems We're Breakin' Up"), redundant satires ("I Think It's A ...," "You're On Drugs") and some things that stretch the band a little farther into "acceptable" touring independent rock band territory ("Sun Blows Up," "Coat Tails"). They even throw in a zombie song for good measure ("Eyeballs") which shows that their selected Schadenfreude may transcend the personal horrors of child-birthing, child-raising, rock band following, and sex in general. The next album might be full on United States Black Metal, with Becky wearing enormous antlers on stage stomping all over a miniature nunnery. CCBB is the kind of band where that wouldn't surprise you at all.
- Three Imaginary Girls

"Neither Atlanta nor vinyl, but this is still awesome."

Athens-based comedic duo Cars Can Be Blue's new album "Doubly Unbeatable" is an interesting mix of funny and vengeful lyrics backed by some of the sweetest sounding powerpop to recently come out of their music-saturated city.

The album, released in June by Athens' HHBTM Records, contains some rather biting anti-love songs like "Hope You're Hurting" and "Seems We're Breaking Up." While these tracks make me smile, I can't help but believe the lyrics came from real hurt felt by vocalist/guitarist Becky Ann Brooks.

Other themes tackled by Cars Can Be Blue include starfuckers from both genders, politics, penises and perscription drug adicts.

My favorite track is "Eyeballs" because the band departs from its pop tendencies and delivers a trashy garage rock song. And it has memorable lyrics like "I've got my finger pointed at you. I guess I'm finger-fucking you."

Favorite track honorable mention goes to "Merch Song," since CCBB finds a way to turn the often obnoxious merchandise table mention into a track that makes me want to laugh and dance around my house.

Normally, I don't care for a mix between comedy and rock (unless it's The Vandals), but CCBB manages to balance being one of Athens' best pop groups and a hoot both live and in the studio.

Cars Can Be Blue were for whatever reason not on my radar until they played a show with The Coathangers in May. Since then, I've been looking forward to their next trip to Atlanta. Anyone who checks out this album will likely catch their next Atlanta show with me. - 7inchatlanta

""doubly Unbeatable" review by -Charley Lee"

More often than not, boy/girl pop duos evoke feelings of mirth and melody, saccharine sappiness and heartfelt candor. The members of Cars Can Be Blue obviously lost that memo. CCBB's sophomore release Doubly Unbeatable is chock full of upbeat pop cynicism. Listening to this CD is like eating a bag of SweetTarts; the sugary sweet vocals and energetic music make the bitter lyrics and sardonic tone easy to swallow. Vocalist/guitarist Becky Brooks' rants on love, child abuse, heartbreak, groupies and inner band turmoil are sung with gleeful, even perky abandon. They tend to conjure up images of chain-smoking pixies and wrist-cutting fairies. It's light-hearted, sharp and a little ill-tempered, but luckily this band also happens to rock. The arrangements are full of Nate Mitchell's manic drum thrashing, chunky amphetamine-fueled guitar riffs, and Athens mainstay Jeff Tobias's thundering bass lines. From the opening track "Sun Blows Up," waves of 1960s garage rock wash over the speakers. From there, Cramps-inspired punk and Henry Rollins-like social commentary take over. Doubly Unbeatable is actually more of a triple threat. Soaring pop hooks, insanely catchy vocal harmonies and a morbid sense of humor make this CD an undeniable charmer. It's almost worth it just to hear Brooks croon, "I bet you think you're pretty special just because you fuck the band / You get them all with your big vagina / I guess you are their biggest fan." The only real complaint about this CD is its regrettably short duration; 16 songs may seem like a lot, but the disc is only 31 minutes long. - performer magazine

"This Manic Moment"

Notoriously obnoxious, hilarious and sometimes sweet, this duo (made up of Becky Brooks and Nate Mitchell) has now been in Athens for a bit over two years, and just finished recording its sophomore album, Doubly Unbeatable. Louder, faster and more focused than the first record, All the Stuff That We Do, the new set of songs benefits from the input of Jeff Walls, who helped give The Woggles their nasty garage sound. Mitchell acknowledges that this decision was intentional and says, “I knew he would know exactly how to get a sound that was totally seething with energy.” He also credits other contributors to the record: “Joel Hatstat handled all of the studio engineering/technical stuff and is a great guy to record with because he's so laid-back, but he's also an ace facilitator and problem solver for all these crazy ideas we threw at him. It's kind of like Becky and I were the Starship Enterprise, Jeff was Captain Kirk, and Joel was a combination Mr. Sulu/ Mr. Scott.” Problem solving, luckily, is more invisible than perceptible, so it's the wonderful chaotic griminess of the production that comes through, matching the mix of dirt and sunshine that was already present in Cars Can Be Blue's songs.

How has the duo adjusted to being denizens of the Classic City, rather than just passers-through? Well, Athens has its ups and downs. Mitchell's played drums with Titans of Filth, started a new dance band called Everybody Everybody, tried his hand at stand-up with Conner and Charlie Taylor (Stubble on Stubble) and hosted the Sunday Night Flip Out dance party with DJ Kurt Wood at the Secret Squirrel. Brooks admits to no impact on the town other than her own genius, but says, in response to a question asking how Athens has changed her, “I'm happier. I'm an alcoholic now.”

Mitchell says the move from Athens outsider to Athens insider can be weird. “There have been some shows or parties that have totally vindicated my original desire to move here, but the small-town fishbowl effect can get wearying after a while.” Hey, they're honest, and it's gotten them in trouble from time to time.

Doubly Unbeatable isn't a step back from honesty, but it's a little bit more serious than its predecessor, which contained songs about abortion, the mentally impaired and doing it with Batman. There are, with the exception of “I Think It's a...,” fewer dick jokes this time around, but Mitchell says it wasn't necessarily a conscious decision.

“I guess we decided to try and chase the perfect two-minute pop song rather than the cheap laugh. We just wanna write good songs that aren't boring.” That devotion to the short song is certainly something that remains, along with Brooks' pure holler of a voice, which is used to great effect throughout, such as on the opener, “Sun Blows Up,” a nouveau Phil Spector track that sets the pace for the rest.

You'd think that a two-minute song would take less time to write than a longer one, but Cars Can Be Blue haven't put out an album since 2005. Brooks says, “I can only write songs when I'm manic, so I can't really control how quickly an album gets written,” and Mitchell concurs to some extent, but admits they don't want to put out anything they're not 100 percent happy with.

The recording time, however, was short, even if the process leading up to it wasn't. Mitchell says, “We spent three years coming up with a whole mess of song ideas and gradually refining them into real songs. Most times, stuff just blurts out of Becky when she's in a manic mood, and you have to have a tape recorder running or she won't even remember something the next day. We made four-track demos of everything at home, and Becky spent more time working on vocal harmonies, so by the time we booked studio time and went in to record, we were able to track 23 songs in two days. Most of what you hear on the album are first takes, which hopefully gives it more immediacy, more energy, and makes it sound more like a classic rock and roll record where people didn't have time to fuck around when the record light was on.”

So, why the title that doesn't quite make sense when you stop to think about it? Mitchell says, “It's our second record, there's two of us, and despite all the emotional trauma, relationship drama, petty fighting and bad luck that has plagued us, we still made a great album! The strongest steel goes through the hottest fire, and we are never going to stop being a band, unless one of us dies. You will never get rid of us! Never!” Fair enough. - Flagpole (athens, GA) W: Hillary Brown


"All the Stuff We Do" (first full-length CD) release Oct. 2005 on Happy Happy Birthday To Me.

"Doctor" (exclusive CCBB track only available on "HHBTM Vol. 4" compilation)

* a split 7-inch with The All-Girl Summer Fun Band (as part of HHBTM Sigles Club)

* Doubly Unbeatable (2008) on Happy Happy Birthday To Me label



"Rock-n-roll presumes that the band - as damaged and anti-social as they might be - might possibly get-it-to-fucking-gether, man, and play this simple song. And play it right, okay? Just this once, in tune and on the beat. But we can't. The song's too simple, and we're too complicated and too excited. We try like hell, but the guitars distort, the intonation bends, and the beat just moves against our formal expectations, whether we want it to or not. Just because we're BREATHING. Thus, in the process of trying to play this very simple song together, we create this hurricane of noise, this infinitely complicated, fractal filigree of delicate distinctions...rock-n-roll works because we're all a bunch of flakes."
- Dave Hickey ("The Delicacy of Rock and Roll", 1997)

Cars Can Be Blue is a two-headed creature that clawed its way out of a small-town swamp known as Keene, NH way back in 2003, when Becky Brooks and Nate Mitchell fused into one musical essence, foisting their rudimentary songwriting skills upon the world and gradually cultivating a legion of morally questionable admirers.

The Cars Can Be Blue components seem simple enough: a girl with a guitar, a guy with a ramshackle drum kit, yet this bipolar beast houses a wide swath of darkness shrouded in shiny pop confections...or is it the other way 'round?

Regardless, the two have defied the odds, releasing two albums on the venerable Happy Happy Birthday To Me label, 2005's "All the Stuff We Do"� and more recently in 2008, "Doubly Unbeatable"�, a meaner, nastier companion to album number one.

They have toured coast-to-coast and spread their musical seed in many disparate locations, often a mere hairwidth ahead of total calamity.

The road behind Cars Can Be Blue is riddled with bad luck, broken hearts, disaster, and misfortune, but this scrappy duo soldiers onward, ready to greet oncomers with a hail of infectious tunes that overwhelm the senses with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Cars Can Be Blue has truly followed its own path and hopes to continue conquering the cultural landscape, one listener at a time.

Thanks for stopping by. We'll try to keep you posted on what's goin' on within our little world as best we can.