The self-titled debut from Vancouver’s latest psyched out prog-rock outfit came recommended by Zulu Records, a Vancouver record shop that writes original reviews of every album they stock. Suggestions may be a detestable function of society, but considering the number of records the Green Hour Band must have had shoved down their throat, it’s possible I could be reviewing a blatant Creed rip-off had they not been so open to suggestions like Pink Floyd or Captain Beefheart.
Aesthetically, the Green Hour Band won’t move any mountains. But the prowess they’ve developed in honoring their influences (including Sabbath and the Velvet Underground at their raunchy best) shows a band that’s already mature beyond their years. The frantic stomp of “The Clocktower’s Request” sounds remarkably self-assured, highlighted by seamless transitions from verse to chorus and back again. Though this quickly becomes a rarity, this album has the frantic force of a tsunami. If nothing else, it made me realize I really ought to be drinking something else instead of a tepid glass of water.
“Brand New Lover” leaves very little doubt as to whether or not the Green Hour Band listened to the Count Five. The sway of the track is highlighted by the furious harmonica, which kicks in exactly when you’d hope it would.
The Green Hour Band will never feature in a soundtrack. They follow no linear path; their songs peak and hover in various places without warning. “Chapter 123” begins with a White Stripes riff. Immediately you peg the album as devolving. Soon however, another blatant rip-off rears its bouncing head. It could be “Get Off Of My Cloud,” though “Chapter 123” (as the rest of the record) sounds like a band trying very hard to sound like the band they’ve always wanted to. There’s no doubt that they succeed, though one wonders if they should be trying hard to develop a sound of their own. Narrowing their influences might be a start.
But the next time the night gets a little loopy, I’ll be sure to throw The Green Hour Band on. I probably won’t tell anyone who we’re listening to. That way, I can let my true friends show themselves. The posers might ask who we’re listening to, but my real buddies will be too confused to care.