This Car Up
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This Car Up


Band Alternative Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Smile When You're Alone"

Boston's This Car Up prove that high-quality songwriting, evocative vocalizing and well-constructed instrumentation can still turn some heads. These guys would be right at home on '90s Polyvinyl or Deep Elm Records, alongside Braid, Rainer Maria, Camber, etc. While some would be pleased if that scene and sound were still locatable in this century, these five guys have crafted an album which will appeal to a diverse audience, for one simple reason. They know how to work together, blending their respective talents and influences into a cohesive whole.

There's nothing showy here, just simple, tasteful guitar and keyboard lines, carried by a workmanlike rhythm section that's sometimes propulsive and at others unafraid to lay back. The very clean production allows the strength of the compositions to come through unimpeded. It's not unlike the aforementioned "emo" bands, or such modern indie stalwarts as Nada Surf. By allowing less-traditional rock instrumentation -- horns, strings, lots and lots of keys -- to take on a key role on many songs, they are able to play up the strengths of their hooks and supplement the smooth, sometimes whispery vocals. The two singers are possessed of very similar voices, affected yet intimate and unpretentious.

This is a very impressive debut from a well-regarded Boston band. It's a fully realized album, but nonetheless hints at the potential for greater things in the future. -

"Multiple Husbands 2007"

This Car Up is a Boston-formed band whose platonic romance has evolved into a family-style unit built upon their sincere desire to create music for a living. But the five scraggly miscreants are also quite modest as they describe their sound as Indie/Folk/Crunk (the boozy crunk, not the booty one). This is a pretty fitting definition of their experimental yet slightly poppy music; it is often gritty with certain ambient qualities. The amounts of different sounds that compile to make this music are very reminiscent of Broken Social Scene’s ability to collaborate billions of instruments and create a glorious wall of sound. The vocals glide perfectly off of and into each other and their collaborative style makes their music sound passive and like home, but it’s the most explosive kind of beauty.
The “fathers” of this self-proclaimed family, Eric Glassman (21), appreciator of roast beef and soy nuts and Paul Sentz (28), a lover of all things turkey, met at an open mic night and it was love at first sight. Their friendship was built upon a mutual respect for each other and their music. Eric explains, “It’s hard to find people at Berklee especially where you just feel them right as a person, a lot of people are kind of plastic and fake about it and when we met I guess we just understood how we were and what we did.” Paul adds “It was cool because I always think that it wasn’t really forced, it was a natural thing that we should just start playing together and it’s progressed to where we are now.”
They started as two guys working on each other’s songs and eventually found people through their circle of friends who loved their music and wanted to play with them. They gained the bass skills and witty banter of wife, Kevin MacDonald (24), whose favorite things are burritos, Lost and dogs. Burritos are actually a common love of the entire band and were they not so compatible already, burritos could have brought them together. Their son/keyboard/synth/guitar player Kurt Schneider (25), loves local Boston bars and Youtube and met Paul from Berklee. Their other son/ drummer Barry Marino (26), is a fan of nature, jazz and of course, burritos. They have been together since July 2006 and have performed several shows, gone on a mini-tour, done a pod-cast and recorded their own demo. They are completely at one, finishing each other’s thoughts and sentences. All members are also songwriters and are now working on collectively contributing lyrically and melodically to songs as opposed to before.
There is an energy and warmth that emanates from This Car Up, particularly their live set. Not only do they feed off each other while still playing their own part, but prove they are still just guys having fun and doing what they love. With their cute dawdling atmosphere, Kevin says that This Car Up is “Endorsed by Lenscrafter” and babbles on about While Eric fiddles with pedals, Paul graciously but passionately plays alongside Barry’s dynamic drumbeats, as Kurt and Kevin rock the stage, shaking it with their energy. The keyboard’s uplifting and playful sounds echo a Mates of State style flippancy. Eric slams his guitar into the ground and plays it with a broken tile, when he jumps off the stage he knocks the mic stand over and that’s when you see that they couldn’t be happier anywhere else. Each member plays a part, there is no front man; they say Eric and Paul are the alter ego dads, but on this stage it only matters that they are a family. Horn players, who are friends of the band, make a beautiful addition as everyone in the band and audience has an arm around one another and the crowd is singing along to words they have just learned. Eric sings as loud as possible into the crowd, standing on top of an amp, having knocked the mic out of the stand; everyone is won over and content in this creative community they are now a part of. Commenting on their live shows, Paul says, “I just love that feeling of togetherness. You know we all respect each other and when we’re playing I’m just looking at everyone just like ‘I love you.’” This Car Up’s stage show proves what they have been telling me as we sit in my living room. Everyone can read about an “up and coming” band and not care, but when you see them smashing together right in front of you, lights glimmering, faces sweating and hearts pounding, you know they are playing exactly what we want; something to be passionate about, something to feel. This Car Up gives that to you and loves every minute of it. - Dig This Real by Lauren Piper

"Service with a Smile"

By Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / February 9, 2008
This Car Up, a Boston band that prides itself on the fact that every member of the group offers something to the songwriting process, celebrates the release of a new CD tonight. On the disc, "Smile When You're Alone," you'll hear folk, rock, and a bit of shoegaze pop - music that may, in fact, make you smile when you're alone. Listen for the track "Expect Them to Lie," which recently got some air time on WFNX. Joining the band will be the Shills, Mean Creek, and A Hero Next Door. 9 p.m. $9. Great Scott, 1222 Commonwealth Ave., Allston.
- Boston Globe

"This Car Up"

"Smile When You're Alone", the debut record from Boston's This Car Up, spins a web of gauzy, muted vocal and sprightly playground whirl that wouldn't be out of place on the "Garden State" soundtrack. - Boston Metro

"This Car Up: Smile When You're Alone"

This Car Up is yet another in a long line of indie bands going the truly independent route by releasing their music without the help of a record label. The kind of music they play – a moody, straight-faced mixture of Sonic Youth-like guitar layers, humorless vocals recalling Beck’s more depressed moments, the pop-lite of Death Cab for Cutie, and the modest occasional dash of vibraphone and brass a la early Tortoise records – lends itself well to an audience that pledges more allegiance to bands themselves than the organized businesses that have typically provided varying levels of support to such bands. Their press sheet is only touting recent coverage from low-key outlets like the Boston Phoenix independent weekly, Emerson College’s radio station WERS, and the Northeast division of Performer, the well-respected and decidedly indie-centric trade magazine. How does a band like This Car Up position itself to keep going without starving to death?

Taking a look at the photo of the group included with their one-sheet bio, the guys look like they know how to have a good time. They’re smiling, joking around with stuffed animals, and generally looking like a bunch of truly likeable goofs. Without having seen the photo, one would never pick up on this facet of their personalities simply by listening to the music. “Emma,” one of the catchiest, most memorable tunes on their debut album, Smile When You’re Alone, carries the no-nonsense chorus “Don’t waste my time / Whenever it is through / When everything is wrong / They will turn to you.” This isn’t fun and games, nor is the song’s declaration in the bridge, “love is a lie.” This is streamlined angst, and it could go a longer way with more force in the vocals.

The low-key, boy-in-the-corner approach actually fits “Shiny Objects” even better, and the vocals pick up some welcome intensity in the chorus. Musically, the song is also one of the most impressive, with its trebly bass and dreamy, layered guitar midsection, stretching the song out to almost seven glorious minutes.

There’s a lingering sense that, though the record sounds impressive enough – it was recorded at the venerable Inner Ear Studios, renowned in the D.C. area for being the spot where many near-legendary records by Fugazi, Rites of Spring, Q and not U, and other Dischord artists, were recorded – the real power of the music is going to be felt live on stage. The challenge for This Car Up, just like it is for New England’s The Brother Kite, Portlandites Chris Robley and Rachel Taylor Brown, and many other indies across the country, will be to push their message beyond their immediate region or coast. Fuel prices are confining many bands to even smaller touring areas. Standing out among the heavy competition that the online world makes loud and clear to us every minute will only be a greater challenge because of it.

Clearly, this reviewer heard something in them that differentiates them from the latest chart-toppers and the bevy of local bands making noise at the clubs down the street. It could be nostalgia for those East Coast sounds that provided sweet relief through the ‘90s, or the generally favorable sound of trebly bass, or the unassuming way in which the keyboards provide a bed of sound and never overpower the record. Whatever it is, This Car Up has made a promising start. Growth and development will be their best friends, maintaining a streak of unpredictability will carry them across the coasts, and striking a balance between pop smarts and artful non-traditional song structures – their greatest strength as of now – will give them longevity. Meanwhile, Smile When You’re Alone is still one heck of an indie rock record to spin through the summer

"This Car Up, Smile When You're Alone"

Allston, Mass.-based indie-AOR-twee quintet who make genre-splicing look easy. They don’t have Athlete’s budget but one of the songwriters here could write their next album for sure, if not even the next Dashboard Confessional record, while another of the dudes is into Belle & Sebastian (“Expect Them to Lie”) and still another obviously makes out to Death Cab for Cutie with an Air CD queued up to follow (“Tarzan vs Graham Chapman”). Given all this you’d expect either disaster or something pretty dazzling, and luckily it’s the latter. It’s an album-album, cleverly stacked with the doe-eyed Belle and Death Cab things leading into the crashy, rainy, adult-emo angst-guitar of “Shiny Objects,” as if to say it’s okay to be a touchy-feely Alan Alda most of the time, but testosterone never sleeps. Such a pleasant switch that is. Hooks come at will to this band – the members are in a place right now where they’re still exuberant about their exuberance over finding each other, and a lot of things (tours, rising-local-hero-status, airplay) have come fast after their being together for a very short year or so. Time will tell, of course, but what I can safely report is that you’ll like this record regardless of whatever may come. A — Eric W. Saeger - Hippo Press

"This Car Up NE Performer Spotlight"

This Car Up
By Miriam Lamey
Photo by Erin Yunes

It is hard to say which feat is more impressive — This Car Up’s rapid rise to the upper echelons of the Boston music scene, or the actual process that went into solidifying the outfit. The young group has only been playing together with its current line-up since last August. Additionally, most of the band members have their own side projects. Bassist Kevin Macdonald also plays with Amoroso, and vocalist Paul Sentz and guitarist/vocalist Eric Glassman met while performing at a local open mic. The duo also had a different band through last year. Keyboardist/guitarist Kurt Schneider recently joined the group along with Macdonald. Yet, drummer Barry Marino explains that This Car Up is beginning to find its sound: “Over the last couple of months we’ve been writing a lot more, [and we’re] bringing stuff to the table and pooling all of our efforts together to write new stuff.” The result of such collaboration? Sentz puts it bluntly: “We make music that is passionate, big, explosive, ambient, and melodic.”

This musical diversity is one of the band’s most striking attributes — not just from song to song, but also within each song. “We all come from vast backgrounds of music,” Glassman says. “Kurt likes punk and I like classical Russian music. I think our sound is constantly changing.” Macdonald concurs: “We all have pretty different styles in music when it comes down to it. Some of us like more of the folkier stuff.” While this concoction could hinder This Car Up’s songwriting efforts, it seems that all members appreciate one another’s perspectives.

“There are five different people trying to give their ideas and it has worked well so far,” Macdonald continues. “I mean, we haven’t reached a stalemate at writing yet...We just have a really nice balance. We’ll have more sensible ideas from one person and a little bit more progressive stuff from another person.” It appears, then, that all members keep one another in check, understanding that their goal as a band is to create unique, personal music. Marino states, “Each song is coming out a little bit different. There’s a little pop element to every one, but we don’t want to get pigeonholed into any sound.”
Ultimately, the band’s most exciting quality is the disarming unpredictability of their sound. Macdonald feels that the band “is probably not going to play a song the exact same way twice...[The sound is] whatever we’re feeling in the moment.” This aspect of spontaneity seeps into This Car Up’s recorded material. For instance, “Till You Try” presents light, tuneful vocals, subtle harmonies and even pacing, supported by Schneider’s retro-sounding keyboards. The band can also change directions with ease, as evidence in the poppier, Ryan Adams-inspired “Expect Them to Lie.” Finally, the soulful ballad, “Emma,” reveals This Car Up’s introspective, folkier side.

So what is This Car Up’s mission statement? Marino muses, “I guess what we were trying to accomplish with the music is something people can identify with; it’s fun — it’s melodic.” Glassman believes that the band’s “goal is to have fun playing music and have the audience get that and have fun listening.” But he also hopes that their music will powerfully engage people during live performances. “We try to create that atmosphere like a fog over the crowd,” he says. “And in that sense, the emotion comes out.”

- NE Performer Mag

"This Car Up on WERS"

April 10, 2007

It seems that musicians, by nature, usually can not stay put and focus on only one project. This rings true for the five members of This Car Up, who are all songwriters on their own, and also members of several other Boston area groups. However, while the quintet finds time to stretch their musical abilities in other groups, the dedication and passion that they put into This Car Up is astounding. "We always encourage each other with our other projects," says singer/guitarist Eric Glassman, "It allows for a little breathing room, for us to explore different ideas, but there’s still the safety of the collective."

There exists an unusual power in this "collective," in their ability to construct beautifully crafted, massive, and heartfelt songs in an extremely organic manner. Nothing ever seems forced or deliberate with This Car Up. Some songs are the musical equivalent of shouting off of a hill into an open field, others as quiet as something you whisper to someone in the dark. Such is the case with the first three fourths of "Emma," the song that This Car Up kicks off their in studio session with. Washes of guitar noise pour forth from Glassman’s guitar, while he and guitarist/co-vocalist Paul Sentz croon lightly. Behind them, drummer Barry Marino lays down beats that swell and recede like an ocean. Like sunlight through clouds, the keyboards of Kurt Schneider pierce through, offering electronic texture.

While the group initially started with all songs written by Glassman and Sentz, things have opened up a bit more in the This Car Up camp. "It’s more of a melting pot now, people come in with different ideas, then other people will interpret them until the song is done," says Sentz.

Where the band truly shines, however, is in their live show. These shows are some of the most intense things that can be seen, yet can also be an incredibly fun time. Glassman points out the importance of community once again, calling their live show just "a branch off of hanging out. We’re having the most fun together, and we’d like the audience to be more like a part of us."

Sentz takes the mic for the next two songs, which includes the stunning "Shiny Objects," where Sentz’s hopeful sounding voice does battle with Glassman’s caterwauling guitar, which almost seems to be tossing daggers all over the room, its effects pedals screaming by the song’s end. Quietly, Kevin MacDonald lays down the plodding bass line. Things take a turn for the quiet on "Blindly," a more ambient piece that features more of Glassman’s waves of guitar noise. Sentz vocalizes in a more strident fashion this time around, his voice quivering while Glassman almost attacks his guitar. Schneider switches to acoustic guitar, adding to the image of a vast expanse, the band members its only occupants. When the song comes to an end, it is Schneider on his synth by himself, slowly adding an epilogue to a beautifully epic song.

"[Our live show] shows our passion for this. This is our shot." declares Sentz. Even in a more restrained in-studio performance, you would be foolish to doubt him.

-Erik Ziedses des Plantes
- WERS 88.9fm


Here music from This Car Up's debut full length, Smile When You're Alone, at
Listen for them on 101.7 WFNX as well as local Boston College Radio.



This Car Up are at an interesting juncture in their career, where they can play shows where at least the first three rows of people are singing along loudly to their songs, but can still be considered one of the better kept secrets of the Boston music scene. Taking the melodic sensibility and unhinged emotion of 90's bands such as Elliott and Mineral, and filtering it through the epic tendencies of post rock groups such as Explosions In The Sky, This Car Up presents one of the more heart-stopping shows one can see in the Boston area.
Recently, the group made their way to Silver Sonya studios in Virginia to record their new full length album, Smile When You're Alone, with producer/Aloha member TJ Lipple. The album neatly summarizes the past two years for the group, touring around the east coast and the midwest. While listening to This Car Up's music, one almost feels like they are in the van with the group, staring out on the vast expanses of America as Eric Glassman and Paul Sentz's vocals paint intimate, emotional pictures. These are all resting on the granite-solid, yet inventively subtle rhythm section of bassist Kevin MacDonald and drummer Barry Marino. Kurt Schneider adds the texture to the group, with colorful synth parts that are never intrusive or overwhelming. Sentz and Glassman, the guitarists in addition to vocalists, can play something twinkly and melodic one moment, and then something raging and dissonant the next.
This Car Up has managed to secure Japanese distribution for Smile When You're Alone through Moorworks, but have otherwise managed to release all of their material themselves, taking care of issues such as pressing and packaging on their own budget.
Mild-mannered in person, it all melts away when these five people step on stage and grab their instruments. Each show is a truly affecting performance, unique each time it happens. This Car Up are proving to be an ever-evolving group that will only continue to surprise with future releases. It is sincerely exciting to watch it all happen.