I was recently turned on to Rubber Clown Car, a three-man band hailing from Illinois. Undeniably, one of the best band names ever! Making the music are Dirk Prysby (guitar, lead vocals), Fred Beasley (drums, backing vocals, guitar) and Tony Pantalones (bass, keyboards and everything else).
Their quirky sound is an entertaining mashup of punk, grunge and 60s pop/rock, sort of a Guided By Voices meets The Kinks meets Barenaked Ladies. But don’t let the fun, catchy melodies and deft guitar riffs fool you into thinking their music is as whimsical as their name. Many of their songs have deeper meanings, laying bare the sometimes harsh realities of life, love and relationships.
One of the first songs the band wrote was “Home in the Suburbs,” featured on their debut album Make the Noise. Band frontman Dirk Prysby stated the song was “about my parent’s dream of the suburbs and how it would solve all our problems (it didn’t).” The song’s powerful, thought-provoking lyrics are incredibly honest from beginning to end: “Darling, look at the flowers. Just 30 more years, and all of this will be ours. Worked so hard to build our future, you spend so much time all alone. But now we spend so much time together, when the kids put us away in a retirement home.”
Rubber Clown Car’s latest album Let’s Pretend is a collection of 14 songs that really showcase the band’s wide stylistic range, from the introspective acoustic track “Vampire Polo Hats,” the hard-hitting “Send the Kids to War,” to the funky, danceable “Go, Go Girl.” I love the lyrics “Daddy’s little princess never does nothing wrong. Behind the wheel she’s everything she’s not.”
Show these guys support by checking out their website http://www.rubberclowncar.net/, following them on Twitter, and listening to their music on Soundcloud or Spotify, or purchasing on Bandcamp or itunes.