Album Review

The Greenhornes, '★★★★'

November 8, 2010

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It’s been eight years since these Ohio-spawned rockers released an album. Members Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler have been busy working in side projects with White Stripes leader Jack White including the Raconteurs, Loretta Lynn’s “Van Lear Rose,’’ and, in Lawrence’s case, the Dead Weather. But the band is returning with a splash, cheekily titling its fourth album “.’’ A title like that is winkingly begging for either vehement agreement or haughty contrarianism but you’ll find neither here. We don’t do star ratings, but we would give “’’ three-and-a-half. It is an exceedingly agreeable collection of ultra-catchy garage-pop complete with slash-and-burn guitars, wheedling psychedelic organs, gauzy ballads, dollops of Motown stomp, and loads of love laments both despairing and fidgety. The Greenhornes lovingly meld the sounds of forebears like the Kinks, Beatles, Zombies, Yardbirds, Who, and less famous “Nuggets’’-era heroes into a snazzy set full of snap, airy harmonies, and spindly, economical guitar solos. Songs like “Left the World Behind’’ — all thrust, momentum, and desperation — the offhanded ambler “Get Me Out of Here,’’ and the wildly percussive “Cave Drawings’’ exude a fun trapped-in-amber charm. SARAH RODMAN

ESSENTIAL “Cave Drawings’’