”Hello… Hello again.” I enjoyed the Cars the first time around — they were the shiniest, most purely enjoyable of American new wave bands — but I have mixed feelings about their latest incarnation as the New Cars. Guess the names ”Used Cars” and ”Reconditioned Cars” weren’t as marketable, though they may have been more accurate.
Guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes are the only two original members remaining (original frontman Ric Ocasek and drummer David Robinson are sitting this one out, and singer/bassist Ben Orr died in 2000), and they’re joined by fellow middle-aged rockers Todd Rundgren and Kasim Sulton of Utopia and Prairie Prince of the Tubes. (Remember the Tubes? Now, there’s a band I’d like to see reunited.)
I suppose I should be excited by the prospect of a tour in May and June (opening for Blondie) and a new album (It’s Alive, due May 9), but I can’t help but feel that, like the new Van Halen or new Doors, the new Cars should have stayed in the garage.