Review Summary: Green River Ordinance have created a pretty good illusion to make people believe this sound is their own and as their sound matures may just be the musical saviour I am looking for after all.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Ever since I’ve discovered my love of 90’s alternative music through such bands as Sister Hazel, Gin Blossoms and Counting Crows, I have been striving to find a worthy equivalent in today’s music. Over the last few years I have been desperate for a rookie to step up into the ring and throw some left and right hooks into all the disappointing dance beat infused songs lingering in the charts. I am tired of driving around in my car, constantly changing the station until I find something genuine without any awful computerized beats that lace the radio airwaves in my region. So when I stumbled across Green River Ordinance it was pleasing to know that while they might not be the savior I was looking for, there were still artists producing quality music that they believed in. This isn’t to say that there aren’t other bands still making great music, it just grinds my gears when I hear too many dance floor anthems on the radio and not enough bands like Foo Fighters, Jack’s Mannequin or other bands that deserve radio rotation like Green River Ordinance.
Green River Ordinance hail from Fort Worth in Texas and play with a style of alternative rock laced with a country edge that harks back to the good old radio sound of the 90’s. Their debut album ‘Out Of My Hands’ was released in 2009 and overall was a very solid release. ‘Out Of My Hands’ opens with the upbeat ‘Outside’ that doesn’t waste any time using exciting drumming to move the listener into a quick anthem like chorus. ‘Outside’ shows off some very tight musicianship right off the bat with plenty of catchy hooks and melodic guitar polished with a nice pop sheen. The next track ‘Come On’ was the bands first single from the album and demonstrates perfectly why it was picked as the lead track. ‘Come On’ perfectly introduces newcomers to what Green River Ordinance is about and what might lie on the rest of their album. Dynamic bass, echoing guitar strums and solid drum work all intertwine with lead singer Josh Jenkins’ warm emotional vocals for a song that was successful enough to establish the band in America.
After ‘Come On’ the remainder of the album is much slower than the first two cuts off the record and songs like ‘Goodbye L.A.’ and ‘Last October’ truly highlights what this band can do. ‘Goodbye L.A.’ opens with some heart warming croons, light ambient electric guitar plucks and even some acoustic strums layered over for good measure. The drumming builds up with piano through the verses and pushes the song through a faster and rather moving chorus. ‘Last October’ begins with haunting piano that sets the scene for another song that’ll tug on your heart strings. It’s the kind of song that could slot easily into a TV drama or upcoming movie trailer and help either one seem more appealing to viewers. ‘Last October’ is a very good example of a band on top of its game and using their alternative pop rock sound to their full advantage. Most of the songs found between and following these tracks are of a similar pace and are melody driven ballads with catchy choruses. Songs like ‘Out Of My Hands’ and ‘On Your Own’ can easily be attached to personal memories however other songs like ‘Sleep It Off’ and ‘Learning’ fail to leave a lasting impression. Green River Ordinance’s debut does end on a positive note with the song ‘Endlessly’ being the best ballad on the entire album. ‘Endlessly’ almost slows the album down to a complete stop and is a beautifully arranged minimalistic love song. The song nearly solely relies on Josh’s sparkling vocal display that touches deeply and is delivered as if he’s channelling his inner Adam Duritz. Small hints of piano, strings and acoustic guitar picking work to make this feel like an honest, organic ballad.
Many will say that what Green River Ordinance has produced on this record is nothing out of the ordinary and has all been done before. None the less this release hints at the band’s potential to experiment into other genres and a more unique sound. Songs like ‘Come On’, ‘Goodbye L.A.’ and ‘Endlessly’ are fantastic in every aspect and would sound amazing live. In the end even if you think this sound is recycled from other artists, I believe Green River Ordinance have created a pretty good illusion to make people believe this sound is their own and as their sound matures may just be the musical saviour I am looking for after all.