Who knew falling out of love could be so amusing? This happy-go-lucky quartet hailing from Concord, Calif., revisits that theme throughout their engaging debut, an effortless merging of pop-punk and rock with hints of alternative country.
Simple guitar riffs mixed with intriguingly fragile vocals by Vincent Lay generate an album saturated with both love songs and I-don’t-love-you-no-more ballads. In “19 Dead, 47 Wounded,” for instance, Lay sings, “I don’t mean to be forward/ but sometimes lying on top of you/ doesn’t make me as happy as I want it to.” Bluntly spoken, the diss comes as a rather surprising twist after he just spent four songs anguishing over love’s hardships.
Although ground breaking or profound lyrics are sparse, Go Kart Mozart has charm mining this familiar territory. But if you can’t get into their originals, at least check out their punked-up version of the Boss’ “Dancing in the Dark” for the perfect distraction from your most recent breakup. (Kelsey Bernius)