On their debut album, Variety Hour, St. Louis quartet One Lone Car steered between a Scylla and Charybdis of '90s rock influences, not quite pop-punk à la Green Day, not quite jangle pop à la Gin Blossoms. The latter's leader, Robin Wilson, liked what he heard, however, and he provided his recording studio and served as an executive producer on the band's second album, North, South, East & the Rest. Not surprisingly, One Lone Car now sound a lot more like Gin Blossoms (with whom they embarked on a tour as the album was being released) than Green Day. But maybe they would have, anyway. Variety Hour, which actually was only a speedy 30 minutes long, was a young group's first effort in many ways, sounding like a live set put down on disc, and One Lone Car tore through it like they were double-parked. North, South, East & the Rest displays considerable development and growth, one part of which is that the band has slowed down a bit and the arrangements make more space for singer Dustin "Dei" Plegge. Indeed, Plegge's vulnerable tenor dominates the album in a way it certainly didn't on Variety Hour. He is still exploring the ups and downs of relations with women, and he's doing so appealingly in songs with lots of melody. The guitars are still chiming, but they aren't muscling the singer aside. This is all to the good. Variety Hour was promising, if slight. North, South, East & the Rest is the sound of a band coming into its own.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann