Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, The Greenhornes – made up of Craig Fox (lead singer, guitar), Jack Lawrence (bass) and Patrick Keeler (drums) – might just be the second coming of The White Stripes. Heavily influenced by rock royalties like The Beatles, The Byrds and The Doors, The Greenhornes strive to make rock simple again. No flash, just down and dirty classic rock. The latest album Sewed Souls is a compilation of tracks from all of The Greenhornes’ previous albums: Gun For You (1999), The Greenhornes (2001), Dual Mono (2002), East Grand Blues (2005). Anyone who missed the band’s previous works will do well to pick this up.
Sewed Souls is a quick follow-up to the band’s brilliant East Grand Blues EP, which was produced by Brendan Benson. Included from EGB are tracks inspired by Steppenwolf (“Pattern Skies”) and a mix of The Doors and Billy Idol (“Shelter Of Your Arms”). Fox has an uncanny resemblance to both Jim Morrison and Billy Idol in “Shelter Of Your Arms” – being both forceful, yet steady – in this fresh psychedelic experience.
It usually takes bands years to find their voice and their spirit, but listening to their earlier tracks helps you understand how focused the group was. The band’s earliest album Gun For You can be seen the same way as East Grand Blues in that the band’s sound is consistently rock, and rarely anything else. The band’s lone ballad-like track is the impassioned Rolling Stones throwback “Hold Me.” Rock gets a lot of inspiration from blues and that doesn’t escape The Greenhornes with the dejection-filled “I’ve Been Down” and the guitar-heavy “Too Much Sorrow.”
The best word to describe The Greenhornes is mellow. The band doesn’t try to make rock music; the band just does. Listening to “Don’t Come Running To Me” or “Stay Away Girl” and you can feel the smooth atmosphere that GH likes to create and immerse itself in. No better song exemplifies that better than “There Is An End” – featuring Holly Golightly for the Jim Jarmusch 2005 film, Broken Flowers – for its laid-back 60s feel.
What sets The Greenhornes apart is the band’s ability to capture the feel and the joy of rock music. Each song resembles a different band, say it be The Kinks or The Zombies. To some, the band might border on imitation or repetition, but listening to Sewed Souls and the band’s true talent is discovered.
Official website: www.greenhornes.com
“Pattern Skies” QuickTime video – here