Vocals are an essential part of a band like Car Party. You’re probably thinking ‘when are they NOT essential?’ Well, when the band is an instrumental one; which happens to not be Car Party. Nonetheless, their four-song EP High and Low Places is successful with catchy melodies and relatable lyrics; the vocals are not the only thing that counts though.
When it comes to well-written guitar riffs, or drum beats that stand out, the band is severely mediocre. It feels like the main focus is on the melody. In fact, it was one of the first things that stood out to me. At first Michael Natzke sounds similar to Mayday Parade frontman Derek Sanders, but then he brings a harder rock feel more comparable in some ways to Balance and Composure vocalist Jon Simmons. Or he sounds like both, combining Sanders’ range with Simmons’ edge, but when singing softly, he sounds similar to Kenneth Nixon of Framing Hanley or some other “hard rock” voice.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not trying to say that any of the songs are particularly bad, because each song does have its own hook. For instance, in “Forever Family,” it’s the guitar lead; in “Please Me,” it’s the chorus; “Dear Son” has the mood-setting drum work; and finally, “Anniversary” slows it down. The band definitely deserves a listen, because they do their job well, and for those who enjoy the simplicity of pop-rock, Car Party is for you.