One Eyed Jacks
December 09, 2006
Imagine there's a movie that's set in New York City during the late 70's. It's about a bunch of teens who must cross countless gang turfs on their way home. So, the movie is about all the challenges they face trying to get across Manhattan. If there was such a movie, the members of Brooklyn's Earl Greyhound would have been casted perfectly for it. I mistakenly thought the band sounded like Jimi Hendrix on first sight because I was so taken aback by bassit/vocalist Kamara Thomas' afro. They seem like they could be cartoon characters--like rejects from Scooby Doo. It's perfect: the knee-high boot-wearing feminist black chick, the tall, skinny, and slightly effiminate white guy who just wants to get laid, and the scary-looking large black man with tree trunks for arms that would rather be reading Discover and that's really just a teddy bear underneath.
Anyway, Earl Greyhound is a trio that's been together since 2003 and that has one release to their name. Rounding out the lineup is vocalist/guitarist Matt Whyte and drummer Ricc Sheridan.
Earl Greyhound varied their attack, but they were best at nasty, finger flippin' soul rock--hard groove lovin', ramblin' hard edged music full of power, confidence, and seduction. It was almost evil night walker material that was also strangely a student of Queen and Beatles vocals. With his attractive voice and competent guitar playing, Whyte would do fine fronting a band without Thomas, but with Thomas he has a vocal foil that transfers Earl Greyhound from "good" to "great."
For one song the band played music that was more leisurely and bouncy--sauntering, more laid back, and brighter in innocence. For another the band again changed visages, this time leaving traces of Monkess and Hermits-influenced sky-high vocals and awfully optimistic lyrics. It was hard not to be drawn in by the high-pitched "woo-ooh-ooh-woo-ooh" chants.
The thing that kept the songs interesting was the band's affinity for prog, if only a dab and a taste thrown in to spice things up. There was a lot of push and pull on the tightrope. With Sheridan's colorful accents and often off-putting placement of the downbeat, I had to listen a little harder to stick with the music. That was OK, though. This was fun music.