Music

Published on March 18th, 2024 | by Declan Hills

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GreenWing – Eatin’ It – Album Review

If the Dunkey’s Third Law of Critique is to be believed – that a critic’s credibility is tied to the consistency of their voice – it is then prudent for me to lay some cards on the table.

Full disclosure: I Am GreenWing Fan.

I’ve tracked with members of the band on various projects, come up on stage to belt ‘Buddy Holly’ with them, and sat in on some of the sessions that resulted in their sophomore record, ‘Eatin’ It.’ They credited me as a producer, but I mostly made jokes about their lyrics and let them know they are handsome young men. They are! You should check out their Insta profiles sometime.
 
With my biases laid out for all to see, let’s talk turkey. GreenWing put out their first record in 2022; ‘Late Bloomer’ was a self-actualization quest that took the pop rock sensibilities of those who were Foo Fighting in early aughts and covered them in mud and cusp-Millennial-unease. The result was not unlike Blue Jay fan/TDot punk, but with perhaps a little more sparkle. They have that “Mid-Canada Dust Sprinkle.” Dusty Sparkle PUP, if you will.

Following the release, GreenWing swapped a few members (life happens), got a few new tattoos (tats happen), and reloaded with an 8-song record entitled ‘Eatin’ It.’ Let’s talk about the album, two tracks per paragraph.

Opener and high-point, ‘At The Time’ unleashes the lineup change on you – the first two notes of the record are new percussionist Kolton Kimbley Daving-his-Grohl-iest with a snare-kick fill into a ride line you just know is loud as shit live. Anthony Allegretto’s additional guitar is the batter for this deep-fried-Mars-bar: he brings yummy-and-greasy-like-the-70s texture to the mid-range frequencies that permit vocalist and other-tarist Matt Stinn to tighten his vocal lines in a way he couldn’t on Bloomer. By the time the guitars are screaming Steve Vai-Core and Stinn has turned a song about a “sweet” Volkswagen into a song about an intervention, it’s time for ‘Little Regret.’ ‘Regret’ is driven by Stinn’s jazz-enhanced chording and Allegretto’s ‘When You Were Young’ lead homages, but the single-note chorus groove by bassist Travis Williams makes the song. Williams’s choice to lock in with the kick grounds a track that could easily be lost in its own poppy-punky ambition.

The first curveball on the record is the creeping guitar line of ‘Consequences.’ Stinn proceeds to reveal that he can’t stop fucking up his legs biking and running away from cops. Come on Matt, you need those to jump around on stage!  Overall, this is one of the band’s strongest offerings – you can visualize the indie-plaid-and-toque quarter-note trance audiences will be getting into during this chorus for years to come. An abrupt slam-out causes ‘Consequences’ to cascade into ‘Come Clean,’ where the band can’t hide the reverbs and delays you know they’ve had on their pedal boards the whole time. Don’t worry – there’s still a distorted yell-along chorus – the GreenWing of your youth hasn’t abandoned you.

‘Better Than Yesterday’ picks things back up, with Kimbley’s nifty kit work providing a counterpoint to Stinn’s insistence that he is, “an aging punk/slowly going grey.” ‘BTY’ is a nice cut, but the gorgeous ‘Fences’ is the track that stick with me most on ‘Eatin.’ It’s close to being a country balled, but Kimbley plays a straight beat to keep it active. The guitars bring Land-of-Living-Blue-Sky-Reverbs to the forefront, and the bass loosely runs down the scale, exactly like it should. Grab your vodka crans, your g&ts, and your best buds (Weisers or friends); this one’s a swayer.

The title track showcases the dueling lead lines now at the band’s disposal; Stinn plays the vibrato-tonality gems, Allegretto gets filthy. Meanwhile in Rhythm Section Land, you will absolutely be hearing the ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ drum fill here: first person to send the timestamp where this happens to GreenWing’s Instagram inbox gets a free sticker. Tell them I said they had to. Second single and closer ‘Enough’ namedrops a PUP song right off the bat, and that feels about right. This record is maybe a little cleaner than the young-dad-punkers of the East coast, but it’s got their spirit.

Overall, this album is big chorus city, bass-slide central, self-deprecation station, a ride-crash crash course, and a guitar-rock record that made me say, “Huh, I really enjoyed that.” If you like Japandroids, The Zolas, Blink-182, or Slash, this one might be for you.

Check out the album here.

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About the Author

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is a computer scientist, art enthusiast, and avid baseball fan. He resides in Saskatoon with three cats, seven slowly-dying house plants, and four guitars of varying quality.



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