Green Lemon

Green Lemon

Question: How many white-boy rastafarian jam band members does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Answer: six. One to screw in the lightbulb and five to apologize to the rest of humanity for all the racket. Kidding! Just a little harmless jam band humor in honor of the lads of Green Lemon, who arrive in town this week for at least one, and possibly as many as four, shows.

The Oklahoma natives (now hanging in Colorado) play a form of music they call "Reggadelic conceptual improv jam/intergalactic skank music." Translated from the original Latin, that means "very very very long songs which do not so much end as meander to a conclusion." Again: We kid, because we care.

In fact, the Green Lemon sound is to be distinguished from the monotony of other jam bands by its reliance on pulsing Caribbean rhythms and trip-hoppy electronica. The long guitar solos are duly present, but in mercifully limited supply. And the quintet does have a keen melodic instinct, one that owes more to the Police and U2, and even Yes, than to Phish and the String Cheese Incident. The group's home-cooked debut (that's a fancy way of saying the disc is self-released) does clock in at over an hour, with at least one composition busting the ten-minute mark. But it also includes gems like "Mess," an instrumental that sounds like something Sting might have produced back in the day, if he'd been allowed to unwind a little.

So yes, the Green Lemon boys are a jam band, and they have an official Jammy Award nomination to prove it. But they also make some surprisingly compelling noise, even if you're not stoned out of your gourd when you go see them, though it's perfectly fine with us — preferred, actually — if you are. Jam on.

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Steven Almond

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