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The Greenhornes - Dual Mono

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Artist: The Greenhornes

Album: Dual Mono

Label: Telstar

Review date: Feb. 10, 2003

The Title Says It All

If the Greenhornes titling their album Dual Mono doesn't give you a full idea of what they might sound like, it lets you know, at the very least, that they will be partying like its 1969. The first few seconds of the opener, "Satisfy My Mind," will tell you all you need to know: this is fuzz-toned garage rock, pure and simple.

The Greenhornes are impressively faithful to the sonic hallmarks of the harder-edge British Invasion bands and their counterparts in the original wave of American garage rock: chiming guitars that one can picture being played with windmill-fashioned arm swings, vocals redolent with barely suppressed lust and cigarettes, and a guest appearance on the ballad "Don't Come Running" from the harpsichord, always an instrument favored by Brit-rockers as the soundtrack to their especially sensitive moments ("For Your Love" being the seminal example).

Much of Dual Mono could have appeared on either of the Nuggets box sets if it had actually been produced in pre-Woodstock instead of 2002 – they've mastered the classic pummeling blues-inspired three-minute pop song. After years of hard rock bands heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin at their most ponderous and the Rolling Stones at their most decadent, the amount of bands opting for a stripped-down, pre-psychedelia 60s-styled approach is not surprising. The Greenhornes’ style could be seen as backlash to current hard rock clichés, or as the choosing of a different fork on the same road. As traditionalists, the Greenhornes keep the lyrical content lean and down-to earth; mystic, cosmic or political implications are kept to a minimum.

Joining the Greenhornes on the album for a few tracks is Thee Headcoatees member Holly Golightly, offering some vocal support from the English faction of garage-punk enthusiasts. Her tracks, “There is an End” and “Gonna Get Me Someone,” inject some stylistic variety – the latter with the set’s poppiest offering, the former with lambent balladeering in the Nancy Sinatra vein. Holly’s a welcome presence in this appealing excursion into twenty-first century Mod.

By Mark Hamilton

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