This one’s been on top of the highly anticipated pile since the moment it was announced. The debut EP from Color Green only hinted as what was to come, a scruffy slice of Cosmic Americana that was folded and faded at the edges. For the band’s proper debut, the album snaps into clarity, funneling a loose and lanky ‘70s country charm into the speakers. The band, the duo of Noah Kohll (Young Guv, Dark Tea) and Corey Madden (Richard Rose, Grave Flowers Bongo Band), have clearly spent time flipping through the usual hallmarks of the new wave of jam-driven country rock, but they add in a certain flair for ambience as well. The songs on their eponymous LP don’t tumble into twang and turbulence from the first notes, rather they build slow, crawling out of the pastures into the high noon sun. Like Teddy and the Rough Riders and Chicago’s Tobacco City, they have an appreciation for Acid Country, the kind of heat wave warble that Beachwood made their brand. It’s a balance that’s easy to strive for but harder to master, but the eight songs on this debut find them more than able to meet the challenge.
In a bold move the band jettisons their early singles from the mix. The unstoppable “High and Low,” a “Gimme Shelter”-esque country-blues stomper that’s among their best, was an early favorite, but the greased R&B strut might not have fit in with the worn buckskin swagger of the album’s final form. Instead the low-gear ramble of “Ill Fitting Suit,” the indelible lean of “Ain’t It Sad,” and the cold morning darkness of “Ruby” keep the album limber, but lean. The full cathartic release comes with the closer, “Blizzed Out,” showing the kind of careen the band likely finds on stage. Though I could do with some East Coast dates to prove this theory! It’s another solid debut for 2022, a standout in a year that’s been packed with quite a few new faces. The field on Cosmic Americana is quickly filling, but Color Green push themselves to the front of the pack with a kind of sauntered ease.
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