The first thing to think about this disc is the band’s name: Awesome Car Funmaker. As nonsensical as it is funny, before even hearing this Madison, Wisconsin outfit’s music one might guess that there is something unusual about this band. Who ever thinks that would be mostly correct. While ACF does play some amusing, lighthearted, and fun music, E For Everyone is strikingly hit or miss. When the songs are good, they truly are really good. But at 12 tracks, exactly 6 hit the mark, and the other half leave a little more to be desired. The prime example of this is the stark contrast between the fantastic quality pop-rock of “Divided States of the Absurd” and the unfocused mishmash of “Sloppy Girl.” The former sounds like it was painstakingly written, and done reasonably well; the latter is the complete opposite.
This schizophrenia in ACF’s music – excellent one moment, then uninspiring the next – makes it difficult to see what side of the band will show itself in subsequent releases. Hopefully, the quirky, bubbly side that is said to be great live will come out more in the future and they can leave this less-than-stellar stuff behind.
Some indicators that Awesome Car Funmaker (based out of the same city as the excellent Pale Young Gentlemen) may be onto something bigger are several tracks that do stand out. The first is “Ant County Fair,” and the second is “Heart Attack,” both have great beats and an infectious melody. Singer and guitarist Ryan Corcoran does boast some vocal talent, and keyboardist Brendan McCarty adds many positives to the band’s music. Another weak track is “NASA or CIA,” a whiny, disjointed song that exemplifies the polarity in this album. If every song on E For Everyone packed as much punch as the solid tracks, this band could be one with vast amounts of potential.
Unfortunately, when the bad and good are exactly equal, it gets a bit difficult to discern where this album could take Awesome Car Funmaker. It is worth a listen, but be prepared to hit the skip button a few times.