Friday, March 22, 2013

RECORD REVIEW: Green River Ordinance "Under Fire"

Green River
Under Fire
(Good Times Records)

Yes Virginia, there
are still a few living,
breathing, musicians
on our planet who aspire
to create well-crafted
songs and produce
quality records —  and
who wear proper-
fitting trousers.

Their 2009 Capitol Records debut, Out of Our Hands, met with international acclaim and put them on stages along with some of the biggest rock acts of the day, including, Bon Jovi, Counting Crows and Gavin DeGraw. And after taking an extended break, the Texas-based combo, Green River Ordinance (AKA GRO), has returned with the recent release of their sophomore record, Under Fire.

Producers Jordan Critz, Chad Copelin and Jared Evan were brought on board to assist GRO in creating an eclectic 15-song set that merges elements of hard rock with rootsy Americana  (Marshalls meet mandolins at an Internet cafe) — making for a unique and riveting backdrop to powerful and positive messages.

Clearly firing on all cylinders, GRO kicks off Under Fire with the ferocious "Dark Night." Combining modern rock power with a crunchy, yet catchy hook, "Dark Night" also possesses Eagles-like vocal tightness and compelling lyrics — Where do we run to when everything turns to dust? If everything is losing touch, will I find you? Even in the dark night, I can feel it come over me. No way we're going to part this sea if I can't find you.

Other highlights include the soulful, organ-soaked, gospel-flavored "Resting Hour" — Oh when we're broken, we're not forgotten. You will be strong and even though the fight that you're facing leaves you burned out and shaking, you're not alone. In the vein of Train, "Healing Touch" is a mighty love song — Honey, ease my restless mind. I cannot get to sleep. With your healing touch, healing love, you bring back the life in me.

Although  Under Fire  offers plenty of spiritual inspiration, one of the brightest gems is the record's closer, "Dancing Shoes." Through this simple and delicate organic love song, GRO seemingly channels Music from Big Pink  — We don't need nowhere to go, we don't need a tune. In a world that gets lost in making plans, just be my woman, yeah, and I will be your man. "Put on a little Emmylou," indeed. Hey Virginia — this one's a winner. Cue it up for another spin, darlin'!

-Christopher Long
(March 2013)


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