Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Finally, some FIRE.

My first live experience with Earl Greyhound was immediately after Mos Def’s February performance at the BAM Opera House. Rejuvenated, I journeyed upstairs for some after-show fete, and was accosted by Earl Greyhound performing in the cafe. I was in the fortunate position of watching music evolve. The band consists of the three essentials to a rock orchestra-bass, guitar, and drums. Matt Whyte is a willowy brunette on the guitar, shattering things with his genuinely shaggy and sexy soul. The afro goes to Kamara Thomas handling that bass in the best way possible-like a shouted secret-- creeping in from the back. The drummer, Ricc Sheridan, completes the trio solemnly banging out wild percussion. Earl Greyhound has an original quality with a faithful formula—letting the music speak for itself. Their sound provokes memories of early “rock clubs”, where your attention is not required but summoned. Earl Greyhound’s first album “Soft Targets” (SOME Records) is just a dose of what the uninsured kid ordered. It is a collection of unruly love songs, beat-erific howlings, and ambiguity from all ends. The album opens with ‘S.O.S.”, a true to its name outcry and demand for your speculation. About midway through the album is “Monkey”, an urgent piece that channels Led Zeppelin with its gorgeous stylings and loose extended verse. Theirs is a stance of confidence and experience, and Whyte declares this in the final song of the album, “I get the rocks to roll.” Earl Greyhound has created their place on the enviable platform of a rocker. It is in this place where the music is less passion and more stasis--a place for people that were born to rock. And they will rock you, but there’s no need to turn up the volume to feel their vibration.