*All photos taken via iPhone
It’s not usual at Andy’s Bar for me to be drawn from my dark basement and double
Nydnarb to find out what awesome sounds are leaking from the main stage upstairs
down into my ears. This past Friday night was one of those unusual experiences when
Unmarked Cars took the stage. As my ears pulled me from my chair and up the basement
stairs, a beautiful, yet gritty female voice became louder and louder mixed with fuzzy,
phased out guitar and clockwork drums and bass.
Unmarked Cars hail from Oklahoma City and are out promoting their 2009 release, A
Guide To The Common Era. The most surprising element of Unmarked Cars was lead
singer Courtney Harmon. This blond bombshell may be petite, but can belt notes so
hauntingly piercing, it makes a mighty mountain wind look like a Texas summer evening
breeze. I came to describe their sound as a mix of old No Doubt, L7 and the Yeah Yeah
Yeahs with some Rodger Waters-esque guitar solos from guitarist Justin Hogan. Sounds
strange, but really works well. Their projected visuals were extremely far out as well.
From a girl in a white robe in the middle of a lake wielding a sword in the air to a close-
up of a devilishly laughing face. It was like a baptism gone horribly wrong, and it was
There weren’t as many people there as there should and would have been due to it being
the beginning of a holiday weekend in a college town during the summer, but it didn’t
phase Harmon or the rest as she wildly and playfully danced around the stage smiling
with Hogan and drummer Scott Edwards and bassist Richie Hayes and punching the air.
I can only imagine the energy level had it been a normal Friday night. But everyone
that was there ended up buying either a cd or a t-shirt and talked with the very polite
and outgoing group after the show. Myself included. They were very nice people.
Unmarked Cars drove down just to play the show at Andy’s and then drive immediately
back to Oklahoma City. That’s dedication. And for those of us that happen to catch it, it
was a privilege. Check out their myspace for future tour dates and give ‘em a listen for
-Cory Coleman [c]