Standout Track: No. 11, “Lamborghini Nights,” a rockabilly-’80s hybrid with an insistent beat and a ratchety, mechanical guitar build a la The Strokes’ “What Ever Happened?” If Burleigh Seaver’s twangy lap steel and Adrian Carroll’s world-weary cowboy lyrics transport you to the Arizona desert, just go with it. “The moon was bright/and I felt weak,” Carroll sings. “And the worn-out shoes/they still hung on my feet/when a cold breeze blows/you still got to breathe.”
Musical Motivation: Upright bassist Michael Pahn, who recorded the song with Seaver, Carroll, and drummer Scott Gursky (who’s since left the band), doesn’t hear a Southwestern vibe. “It sounds like Miami Vice to me,” he says, a reflection of the band’s admiration for Dire Straights and J.J. Cale. “That music has this kind of tension to it that never really explodes,” Pahn says. “They’re at kind of a slow burn.” The title has nothing to do with the lyrics and everything to do with the ’80s, “Edge of Seventeen” feel. “The name’s a joke,” Pahn says. “There is nothing that we are less likely to sing about than cars. Standing Upright: Though the band’s been together for 10 years, it wasn’t until recently that Hyattsville resident Pahn, an archivist at the National Museum of the American Indian, owned a bass guitar. “I’m not that great at it,” he says. He tested his new instrument out in rehearsal and quickly determined it wouldn’t work in the band: It competed too much with Seaver’s and Carroll’s guitars and vocals. The musical benefits of sticking to upright outweigh the hassle of lugging it to venues: “You show up at a rock club and they don’t know what to do with it,” Pahn says.