The Green and Bold
Love, Luck, and Regard
Smart arrangements, killer roomy snare and kick drum sounds, richly-distorted organs and oscillating keyboards, background tambourine, twangy Fender guitar lines, nasally-breathy singing, brief songs … these are the ingredients of some of the most masterful albums of the indie rock era.
Newly-formed Charleston band The Green and Bold use these essential elements on their sharp, ambitious debut album, Love, Luck, and Regard, as well.
With songwriter, singer, and guitarist Dex Cox at the helm — flanked by guitarist (and longtime Cord+Pedal/Chord+Pedal ringleader) Kevin Hanley, singer Stephanie Something, and a tag-team rotation of veteran scene players and artists (Billy Compton, Steven Thompson, Richard Hussey, Josh Kaler, Cary Ann Hearst, and others) — Love, Luck, and Regard offers some dandy melodies and more than a few deep moments of flawless pop that deserves repeated listenings.
Opening track “Open Letter to Michiko Kakutani” (referring to a New York Times literary critic) snarks about the blurred lines of infotainment with the chorus of “When the critic is the artist/when the critic is the star/when the critic is the story … isn’t it bizarre?”
Cox’s comfy and casual, and often nasally, singing style resembles former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp’s voice on some of The Rentals’ material and Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus. “Magic Tricks” is a grandiose pop anthem with sweet, octave-length harmonies between Cox and Hearst (she sings on four songs on the album).
The acoustic guitar-driven “Invisible College” grooves a little slower, with a whispery vocal and additional flute. Swerving into a more electronica-pop direction, with a drum machine snare and whirling synth chords, “The Forest and the Field” bounces with one of the grooviest bass lines in the collection (think Ivy and Stereolab).
Recorded at Slow Runner multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaler’s cozy Lion’s Den studio, Love, Luck, and Regard sounds full but uncluttered.
A visual artist as well, guitarist Kevin Hanley handled the album’s sleek artwork and layout with a dash of indie rock style, utilizing bits of blurry color and black-and-white snapshot imagery with some vintage/mondern vertical fonts and accidentally preppy pink ‘n’ green boldness.
Together, Kaler and Hanley oversaw all production and engineering duties at the Lion’s Den. The sessions must have been fun blasts of clever trial-and-error brainstormings.
With Cox’s deep but nasally voice and the extra overdubbed musical tracks at their mercy, they’ve assembled an instant classic and one of the best local releases of the year. (myspace.com/thegreenandbold)
The Green and Bold perform at the Tin Roof on Thurs. Oct. 8.