I’m bored with bands.
No, that’s not true. I’m bored with boring bands.
You know the type: four white dudes, two guitars, a bass and some drums. Mediocracy and musical dreariness are no obstacle for them, they somehow find success in spite of, or perhaps because of, their blandness.
So imagine my trepidation when I was asked by a very nice young man (via an Idles Facebook group, see I don’t hate all four-man-bands) to review an EP by his four-man-band Green Dolphin.
What if I hated it?
Even worse, what if I had no opinion at all? What if I found it beige?
The good news is… I enjoyed it! Even found my jaded old toe tapping to certain songs. So, here it is: my review of Bedtime Stories EP by Green Dolphin.
Track 1: Can’t Put My Finger On It
This track has a great summery sound, as does the whole EP. I think Green Dolphin would be a perfect festival band. I could happily kick back in a field with a sunburnt nose, a pint of cider and this tune. In terms of comparisons, Can’t Put My Finger on it has a lilting Vampire Weekend meets Pigeon Detectives feel.
Track 2: No More Matchstick Eyes
Less bouncy than Track 1, this has a nostalgic vibe that only the young can capture. A teenage summer daydream in the vein of Ash, with an opening refrain that reminds me of Slight Return by The Bluetones. You can tell how old I am by all the 90s band references, but this track in particular had me catching some serious “where did my youth go” feels. In a good way.
Track 3: The Narcissist
This one starts in a very similar way to Track 2, and I started thinking “oh dear, are they just a one-trick 90s nostalgia pony”, but the second half of this song blew my concerns out of the water. As the tempo picks up and the frantic guitar starts wailing over the incessant drum beat, and the singer Sam starts to spit his lyrics out in a Frank Black staccato, I wanted to chuck on my DMs and go crowd surfing.
Track 4: Underdamping
This is my favourite track on the EP. It has echoes of The Vaccines and The Strokes, and I like the cracking voice of the singer in this one (a long day recording perhaps?). Then it takes a Middle Eastern disco twist in the final third and I love it even more. The meandering melody over the thumping beat makes me want dance.
Track 5: Swallowtail
From my favourite track to my least favourite. A bit pedestrian and ploddy for my liking, however it is saved by a fantastic string arrangement. The EP doesn’t end with a bang, but not with a whimper either. I would say it ends with a gentle, heartfelt hug.
So, my overall verdict on Bedtime Stories by Green Dolphin? Yes, they are a band that wear their influences on their sleeve, but not in a derivative way. They would be huge fun to see live, particularly at a summer festival. I think Green Dolphin have almost found their own sound, and when they do, they will be a band to watch out for.
Below is the Soundcloud link where you can hear the EP for yourself in full, also the links to the Green Dolphin socials.
The EP be available on Spotify from 31st March.