The Green And Yellow TV
A foursome out of California, The Green And Yellow TV is an independent band creating pop/rock music that pretty much puts to shame anything you're going to hear passing for the genre on the radio these days. Sounding somewhat like a mixture between Elvis Costello and several references from the 60's (at least during the first half of the release), the group definitely has a knack for writing a catchy tune. Sticking to the basic formula of every track being under 3 and a half minutes long, the album is a 9 song, 30 minute slab of music that keeps the art of brevity in mind without failing to sate.
The crazy thing about the disc is that it's also the debut release by the group. Things are suprisingly tight and despite a couple moments near the end of the release, tracks don't linger on too long and nary a note is misplaced. The disc leads off with the short and sweet "The Big Red Machine," and after the sliding guitar chord intro, the rest of the instruments come in and fill things out perfectly behind Todd O'Keefe's somewhat nasal vocals (which also sound somewhat like Elvis Costello at some points). If the first track wasn't enough to snag you, the second one of "Betty" will. It's another rolicking, upbeat track that is dashed with just a touch of piano to give it an extra layer of depth. The group continues the excellent streak clear on through the fifth track (including the excellent, horn flavored "Suspect In The Trees") before changing up a bit for the last 4 tracks.
It's here where the group stumbles ever so slightly, but not enough to completely throw things off since they keep sort of the same sound, just in a more deliberately paced package. "What's the Message" is a quieter track that also shows off some nice piano touches while "Post Showdown" features blaring guitars offset by a singalong chorus. If anything, it's the lo-fi sound of the final track "July 7th" that feels a bit out of place (but still isn't too bad of a track).
Fans of Fountains of Wayne should definitely check this group out, as well as anyone else who's looking for a refreshing album of pop/rock tunes that don't tie into some sort of mass marketing scheme with a mega-conglomerate. They're a great little band who has taken a fairly standard musical format and created a memorable batch of songs. Definitely a group to look out for in the future, but also one to hear right now.