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Posted on August 9th, 2010 (8:30 pm) by Clayton Williamson

Green Gerry’s debut album Odd Tymes is an obvious labor of love; an aural expression of his futile war against the universal entropy that will eventually claim us all. Built upon delicate layers of ethereal vocals and heavy reverb, Odd Tymes is a cohesive unit of minimalist dreamscapes that eschew conventional song structures in order to preserve the chaos and purity of Green Gerry’s vision. As recommended by the artist himself, Odd Tymes is best enjoyed through headphones so its meditative intricacies can fully materialize.

Based in both California and Georgia, Green Gerry (real name Gerry Green, very cute) is an enigmatic figure. Instead of a self-portrait, his MySpace is littered with dozens of blinking eyes, a few blog posts and little else. Despite friends making sporadic contributions, Odd Tymes is largely a do-it-yourself solo affair, primarily recorded on Green’s laptop’s humble internal microphone. Regardless of the limitations of his recording gear, the album’s current pay-what-you-want price is an incredible bargain for an artist worth more than working gratis.

Buried beneath the heavy reverb and abundant samples, Odd Tymes is a lament for the destruction of innocence, a dirge for wonderful memories that exist solely within the loneliness of the heart. The lyrics seem chosen as much for their phonetic rhythm as for their meaning, especially since a lyric sheet is necessary for most of the album thanks to the noisy effects and vocal filters Green Gerry employs. Even with a deceptively silly title like “Linked Sausage is Delicious,” Odd Tymes is devoid of whimsy or playfulness.

While many of the songs share a common ascetic echo, the strongest moments of Odd Tymes come from explorations of different sounds. The first to use cacophonous screeches in lieu of a traditional bridge, the brief coda of “Cozy Space Mugz” is the closest the album comes to a catchy pop riff. “Beth’s Goodbye” and the twisted anthem “Ooh Freedom!” find Green Gerry singing without the safety net of filters and reverb. In its own peculiar way, “Beth’s Goodbye” recalls a Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan both in melody and spirit. “For I will cry when this time it has passed / And I will smile knowing that you will remain” is the album’s lyrical flagship.

All is not calm in Green Gerry’s world, however. “OOO (Fool Moon)” is an anomaly, its position in the record’s sequence acting as a night terror amongst peaceful dreams. Made up of thick distorted noises that flirt with audio clipping and horror movie ramblings, “OOO (Fool Moon)” is the challenging track that will make or break your experience.

As if a reward for making it through the nightmare, “Song Fur Thunderstorms” is the marvelous centerpiece of Odd Tymes and the antithesis of the raucous “OOO (Fool Moon)”. “Song Fur Thunderstorms” is a haunting, layered melody where Green Gerry’s ambitions finally come together with a subtle strength, complete with the eerie wail of a passing freight train.

In the few times a traditional instrument is heard, Green Gerry keeps his technical abilities very simple. Whether this is by choice or limitation remains unanswered, but his limited musical palette and extensive use of reverb is both a gift and a curse to the weaker songs on Odd Tymes, as the oft used effects and similar arrangements can evoke a sentiment of “been there, done that.”

Of course, technical prowess is not required for a quality songwriter, but if he embraced a more complex approach to his instruments, Green Gerry could construct something extraordinary. His raw talent and enthusiasm is tangible throughout the work, and his musical potential is immense. Odd Tymes is a solid record and a thought provoking debut, but Green Gerry is capable of a masterpiece. Let’s hope he’s got more to say.

Track List:
1. Ka, ka, ka, ka Maria
2. Cozy Space Mugz
3. I Am Getting Old
4. Saved by Dogs Acid Eyes (Drunkenly Peeing Off a Cliff)
5. Linked Sausage is Delicious
6. O O O (Fool Moon)
7. Song Fur Thunderstorms
8. Sigmund
9. BBBButtons
10. Beths Goodbye
11. Ohh Freedom!
12. Ballad In The Bay of Pigs

Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

71 / 100
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