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Album Review

While eight years separated the Greenhornes' third and fourth albums, it's not like the band sat around twiddling their thumbs after 2002's Dual Mono. The Greenhornes went through some lineup changes, they cut an EP during a short-lived deal with V2 Records, they did plenty of touring, and the rhythm section of Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler were recruited by friend and fan Jack White to play in his side project the Raconteurs. But though **** hardly sounds like the Greenhornes have been in a vacuum since the last time they cut an album, it shows the band is still firmly in touch with their strengths, and if some of the rougher edges of their music have gone, the soul and the fire are as strong as ever. Stripping the Greenhornes down to a trio hasn't thinned out their sound in the studio; Craig Fox's guitar work is still tough and gutsy while his vocals have retained the cool, bluesy authority of the group's earlier work, and Lawrence and Keeler remain a strong and versatile rhythm section. The grittier side of their garage rock influences have fallen by the wayside — **** suggests these guys haven't listened to the Sonics much in a while — but their enthusiasm for British R&B in the manner of the Stones, the Pretties, and the Who hasn't faded at all, and the opening hat trick of "Saying Goodbye," "Underestimator," and "Better Off Without It" confirms these guys can still write ‘em and play ‘em with the same force and conviction as ever. A touch of pop-psych has crept into the Greenhornes' repertoire, and "Left the World Behind," "Go Tell Henry," and "Cave Drawings" show they can do classic-era freakbeat pretty well, too, and the simple but full-bodied recording and production get this music down on plastic at full force. **** brings the Greenhornes back to the spotlight, sounding as good as they ever have, and in many respects, better. They're advised not to wait eight years before making another album, but if that's what it takes, the wait seems to be worth it.

Customer Reviews

Not A Band to Disappoint

Initially I wasn't going to buy this, but after some deliberation I did... and despite sounding clichéd, I don't regret buying it.
The Greenhornes still have that wonderful retro sound, often reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s. I don't know what it is about the songs but they have a certain something about them, a certain feel, which makes this album utterly appealing.
So far my favourite songs are "Saying Goodbye" and "Song 13", but this album is growing on me with each listen.
Their move to Third Man Records maybe the best decision the band has made so far, Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence of Raconteurs fame are back with the band they started out in, and they still sound great.

Biography

Formed: Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Cincinnati, OH's the Greenhornes earned a devoted following during the garage rock boom of the 2000s, but while the band was clearly influenced by classic blues-based acts of the '60s (the Yardbirds, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks) and first-era garage rock (the Sonics), their instrumental skill and songwriting chops put them well ahead of most of their peers. The Greenhornes were formed in 1996 by Craig Fox (guitar, lead vocals), Brian Olive (guitar), Jared McKinney (keyboards), Jack Lawrence (bass)...
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