Greenlight – Is This What I Am Here For? (CD)

Greenlight – Is This What I Am Here For? / 2005 Self Released / 6 Tracks / http://www.greenlightband.net / Reviewed 12 January 2006

Imagine Mission of Burma mixing with the B-52s, and one starts to get the idea of what Greenlight starts their “Is This What I Am Here For?” EP with. The vocals, which seem to tap an older set of influences, work well with the other trend regarding the track; very Cure-like bass lines. What results with “Gravity” then is a very full track, made all the more interesting with the inclusion of a quirky approach. The sing-songy nature of the vocals in the second half of the track is contextualized into some form of normality, and the track ends with listeners wondering exactly what is up with Greenlight. “head Erased” is a track that fits in better with the average brand of alternative rock; the guitar work vaguely recalls alt-country while the vocals are couched in the psychedelic tradition.

What distinguishes Greenlight from the rest of the bands currently out is the fact that each member of the band has an equal say in the track creation. Bass, guitar, drums, and vocals are all heard in equal proportion; this is accomplished through masterful layering and a cohesion that many bands simply do not have. The female vocals that “Light Phaser” opens up with gives listeners another reason to keep tuned in, and the spaciness achieved by these vocals works well with the concrete sound pushed forth by the arrangements of the rest of Greenlight. In fact, one can say that the vocals and instrumentation on “Light Phaser” are diametrically opposed to one another; the tension between the two shows an escalation of talent until the track could conceivably be said to be one of the best on the disc.

The second half of the disc allows Greenlight to stretch their collective legs; the dual harmonies of “Only You Would Call” are done in a very Husker Du-like style. The vocals bolster each other instead of struggling for dominance, making for something that is incredibly emotional while still being warm and friendly. The disc reaches another high with “Cold”, where the instrumentation still comes out in an impressive matter but the vocals are the talk of the town this time. The harmonies created by the vocals on the track are what individuals will focus in on and insert in their brains for days, weeks, months or even years to come. Three years have given Greenlight enough experience to really shine; here’s to hoping they can continue their high quality of output.

Top Track: Cold

Rating: 7.4/10

[JMcQ]

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