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The Members of Get in the Car Only Want to Make Richmond Weirder



You might expect a band with such lyrics as “can’t wait to survive dystopian concepts” and “knock the moon over so we can die” to be a bunch of buzz kills.

Not so with Get in the Car, a self-proclaimed pack of goofballs whose urgent music has a sturdy punk backbone, the snotty nosed vibe of Johnny Rotten twisted with the collective quirk of the Monks, all delivered with a sense of humor.

“It’s like flexible math rock that you count on your fingers,” drummer Kim Marino says — “with the punk attitude of not having things so rigid.”

Vocalist Paul Webb compares it to a hard game of Simon. “You’ve only got four colors,” he says. “But it gets fucking hard after a while.”

As with many good things, beer had something to do with the origin story.

WRIR hosts Phil Ford and Amanda Cleland were at Ardent Craft Ales in Scott’s Addition for a photo shoot when the topic of playing came up. Cleland mentioned that she’d been playing a lot of bass lately and Ford — having recently been involved with dork-core band Splork — suggested that they put a group together.

So they hammered out some songs and quickly added drummer Marino at the suggestion of Ford’s friend Michael Harl of Manzara. They weren’t sure they wanted a vocalist, but something was missing. Cleland put an ad on Facebook and former Hex Machine bassist Paul Webb responded. “I said that I had limited vocal range, but I’ll be a good monkey,” Webb says, laughing.

You don’t have to be around these folks long to see that something special connects them. There’s a lot of poking fun, gut laughs and legitimate mutual admiration.

“Band practice is so chill. No one has to be right. There are no big personalities,” Clelend says. “Everyone is willing to try the other’s idea, not just to be polite. It really is like brothers and sisters.”

The band is prepping a self-titled EP slated to drop this month that’s a dizzying mix of percussion, riffs, odd timing and switch-ups propelled by a juggernaut of energy, comparable to its live shows.

“It kind of has its own formula in a way,” Webb says. “If I have 375 presets on my keyboard, I’m going to try and not use the same ones on any song to see how many genres or flavors we can get in the mix.”

“The new stuff we are writing together is even weirder,” he adds, proudly.

Get in the Car plays the Camel on May 18 with Josie McQueen, Turbo Mansion, Solar Tantrums, Venus Guytrap and No Hugs. Doors open at 9 p.m. and showtime is at 10. Free.