An Album inspired by the unloved, unkempt, in-between forgotten spaces, on the edge of our modern cities. You only have to drive, or take a train through them, on the way into the centre on most cities, to get what they mean – indeed, they can be mean places themselves. Out of town shopping centres, scrapped cars, and other rubbish, left by us all, as we get on with our lives.
“Edgelands” the bands second album release, a terrific one at that, take these thoughts as their inspiration, in a unique way, providing us with songs of sadness, hope, and everything in between the human condition, and how we think, feel, live our lives, in the 21st century.
After the well deserved acclaim for their first recording “Rhinoceros”, which made such an impact, they became much sought after live group of musicians – they had something to say, and knew how to say it, not many bands do that unfortunately. Fortunately for these musicians, they do, and to such an extent that they were asked to score an original soundtrack to the British apocalyptic comedy ’The Fitzroy’ – which won 2 awards at the SXSW festival in Texas.They became a regular, and popular touring band, gaining great respect as a totally fresh and individual of the UK’s Alternative Folk/Country music scene.
Anyway, back to this new release “Edgelands”. Last year, they decided to take a step back from all that razzamatazz, instead looking at their own environment – and ours too – and the social, political, and musical landscapes.Obviously, this was a perfect understanding about their music, but also, how important what we see, hear, feel of our place as musicians, is so important to our creativity – also means our work is totally sincere too. Sharing all this work with us now, with a reflective creative force behind it , is fabulous actually, as it also helps us think about, understand our own environments and position in our backgrounds, where we are and where we may be going. This sort of approach has always been what makes music great, the thoughts and feelings of a group of talented artists, touching, sharing a mutual human experience. Blimey, this sounds a little deep, no, it isn’t, trust, their musicianship is second to none, whilst the songwriting ability of spinning words into enlightening musical lyrics is, well, wow, excellent. So, you’ve got a bit of a background to the thoughts behind the band, their music and everything else between, hopefully you’ll enjoy the new journey “Edgelands” will take you on.
‘Hard times at my Door’ A great first track for us, lovely guitar picking, before a nice violin line enters, whilst the vocals draw us in. Singing about hard, difficult times, struggles to survive, with no money, work, etc. Reflecting on that awful position, we have all been in and experienced at some point. The central instrumental is wonderful, with such an eclectric ensemble of instruments, and such a tight band, with excellent backing vocals, like icing on the cake. The chorus: Hard times, always at my door…..,misery, misery….., sums it up really. Sounds depressing, maybe the sentiment, but the band produce inverted feel with the melodic, harmonic style – fabulous song.
‘Brockwell Park’ Banjo,fiddle,drums, etc, leads us into a cajun feel, inviting us into their musical instrumental sound. With fantastic performances from all the players, I love it, and can’t keep my feet from tapping, and when it finished, I’m certain I had a smile on face, well, I do now, as I type this.
‘Blackbird’ An upbeat song, in fact, almost a dance feel from one of the ‘old’ western musicals. a truly inspired song this, driven all the while by a combination of fiddle,drums,brass,etc, with some great vocals. Also, there is a cool instrumental interlude, which is a delight to your auditory senses. A sad song, yes, but positive at the same time – a magical, musical thing.
‘Kevin’Kind of the Edgelands’ An original song of musical excellence in every way, with touches of Johnny Cash and Nick Cave. A true story in words and music. A great band accompaniment underlay such a beautiful and powerful song, which totally blows me away at every play – such heartfelt stories are what this band are truly about. A set of essential ingrediants, creative musical ideas, inspired and enlightened lyrics, then added to the mix a group of 8 talented performers – mix/stir together, and you get a song like this, a fantastic title track. Leaves you a little breathless, to be honest, bu feel better for it.
’There’s a Sadness’ After that, we enter a more gentle, laid back, almost reflective country song. The clues in the title, I reckon, but as always with the GRRB we’re made to feel sad, and positive in equal measure. This band are just brilliant at messing with your head, and your emotions, but a perfect way of getting the listener to absorb their musical creations and messages. A terrific, and inspiring song ending too.
‘Infinite Possibilities’ Nice blues guitar intro, accompaniment by brass. The vocal line is so emotional, that you’re singing the lyrics from your own mouth and heart. Sheer heart wrenching stuff, stunning story telling songwriting again, at it’s best. The powerful expression the singer gives here, is scary in it’s weaving around your heart and head at the same time. Add to this some terrific guitar playing, plus nice violin too, and accompanied by the rest of the band – brass, stripped down percussion, etc. By the end, as the singer almost screams at you, the final chorus, it’s quite a relief as he sings a farewell vocal line , over the original blues guitar.
’Tomorrow’ With a banjo and guitar intro, violin weaving in and out, takes into the final song on the album. Cajun, Irish, Scottish, rhythmic instrumental interludes, add a great, positive feel to an optimistic song and a perfect ending to an album of astonishing variety of stories, sad, happy, thoughtful, cynical, all told in a way that only the Green River Rock Band can do. Check them out, no, seek them out, at live performances, and also get yourself a copy of “Edgelands” it’s gonna be one the truly enlightened musical highlights of 2018!