12 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Greenhornes’ last full-length release, Dual Mono, had a tough, ‘60s garage-rock focus, with plenty of grit on both the guitars and Craig Fox’s vocals. An EP in 2005, East Grand Blues, showed the Cincinnati group moving toward a more soul-inflected sound, which worked beautifully on songs like the swaggering “At Night” and sensitive rocker-boy ballad, “Shelter of Your Arms.” On ****, the band dabbles in a little bit of everything: opening tracks “Saying Goodbye” and “Underestimator” roar to life like a couple of early Who outtakes, while “Better Off Without It,” all pulsing vintage organs and warm wood blocks, takes us back to early Van Morrison and AM radio. “Go Tell Henry” and “Cave Drawings” blend budding psychedelia and the blues, and “Get Me Out of Here” hints at a lighter Merseybeat style.  “Need Your Love” is a slamming tsunami of freakbeat (the Creation, the Sorrows, the Primitives) and college radio has no reason not to play “Song 13” in between vintage Superchunk and a classic slice of Big Star. We give this collection a solid **** (four stars).

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Greenhornes’ last full-length release, Dual Mono, had a tough, ‘60s garage-rock focus, with plenty of grit on both the guitars and Craig Fox’s vocals. An EP in 2005, East Grand Blues, showed the Cincinnati group moving toward a more soul-inflected sound, which worked beautifully on songs like the swaggering “At Night” and sensitive rocker-boy ballad, “Shelter of Your Arms.” On ****, the band dabbles in a little bit of everything: opening tracks “Saying Goodbye” and “Underestimator” roar to life like a couple of early Who outtakes, while “Better Off Without It,” all pulsing vintage organs and warm wood blocks, takes us back to early Van Morrison and AM radio. “Go Tell Henry” and “Cave Drawings” blend budding psychedelia and the blues, and “Get Me Out of Here” hints at a lighter Merseybeat style.  “Need Your Love” is a slamming tsunami of freakbeat (the Creation, the Sorrows, the Primitives) and college radio has no reason not to play “Song 13” in between vintage Superchunk and a classic slice of Big Star. We give this collection a solid **** (four stars).

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