“Dual Mono” by the Greenhornes (2002)
My college roommate, Mike, and I have been exchanging music for about 25 years now. Every once in a while, one of us will receive a small package of value, then the other will reciprocate.
One such shipment from Mike’s North Carolina home arrived … wow, it’s about 10 years ago now. In it was a disc labeled “Dual Mono” by a band of which I’d never heard. The title intrigued me, so I put it in the CD player.
Whoa! The musical stylings were pure garage, circa 1965-66. But the sound quality sounded contemporary.
So I looked up the Greenhornes on the trusty AllMusic database. Indeed, the band turned out to be an active one from Cincinnati, and the album was recorded in the 21st century.
But the music is from my favorite era, all loud guitar and steady rhythm section, taking the best elements of such giants as the Yardbirds and early Kinks, with copious helpings of the Shadows of Knight, the Standells, the Creation, the Gonn and the like.
The album opener, “Satisfy My Mind,” sounds as if it belongs on one of the Nuggets compilations, a few basic chords and – oh, brother, I’m borrowing from a GEICO commercial – pure adrenaline. The muscular approach continues throughout “Dual Mono,” as Craig Fox, Eric Stein, Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence rip through a set that could’ve been standards long before they were born. British vocalist Holly Golightly also makes a cameo on “There Is an End,” a song that also appeared in the film “Broken Flowers.” (I’ve never seen it, nor, frankly, had I heard of it before looking up some info about Ms. Golightly.)
Anyway, I’m glad to add a 21st-century recording to Harry’s Hundred, even if it channels the mid-1960s.
And by the way, it took the Greenhornes eight years to follow up “Dual Mono,” with the release of “****” in 2010. It’s supposed to be good, but I haven’t heard it yet. In the interim, Greenhornes rhythm section Keeler and Lawrence joined Jack White in the short-lived project the Raconteurs. Their debut, “Broken Boy Soldiers,” is decent, but nowhere near as impressive as White’s best work with the White Stripes. Or “Dual Mono.”