By Simone Goldstone | NB Indy Soundcheck Columnist
OC band Greer is rounding up a great year. After playing with the Flaming Lips at the OC Fair, the Southern California rock outfit performed a stellar set at Ohana Festival in Dana Point showcasing their new tunes.
Getting ready to release “Happy People,” a follow up EP to their previous “Lullaby For You,” Greer is embarking on their first post-Covid tour and it’s one you won’t want to miss.
And in case you’re wondering, the band’s guitarist, Corbin, lived in Newport Beach and fondly recalled teenage nights spent jumping off the Balboa Pier, hanging out at the Fun Zone, and spending time on Duffy boats.
The band’s sound has grown dramatically as they explore different musical avenues and production interests, creating an EP that’s essentially power pop, but with breezy OC roots blowing through a fuller-bodied sound.
The EP starts off with its titular song “Happy People.” A nice, poppy riff fits the name, and lead singer Josiah’s vocals are laid-back in a way that reminds us of what Southern California sounds are supposed to be.
The song builds up to a catchy chorus that highlights a more cohesive band with mature songs ready for radio-play.
The song structures are more polished than their previous releases, showcasing their time in the studio as they find their signature sound.
The jarring lyrics of “a bitter life that’s full of hate,” are offset by happy instrumentation. Sounding more pop than their previous songs, it lends itself to more accessibility.
Since Burger Records faded away, I’m glad we have these talented and compassionate musicians who can make good Southern California sounds in its place. It’s only right to have more empathetic, open-minded, and socially aware artists to take their place and revamp the music scene.
The next track, “Little Echo,” carries beachy vibes. There’s a bit more psychedelic guitar in this song, and the funny, happy music with introspective lyrics seems to be the theme. Adding in harmonies, each record Greer puts out grows in leaps and bounds as the young band experiments in the studio.
“All My Loving,” the lyrics sing, might be a nod to the Beatles.
“Way Out” is the third track, with faster instruments and stellar drums. This number is better suited for dancing, shocking when compared to the dark lyrics. Masking the sadness of the words by happier instrumentation is a repeating pattern. But isn’t that an ode to present day society? Darker feelings are masked with happy social media post and false cheer. Isn’t that the pressure teenagers and young adults have to face today? To have these cultural zeitgeists represented by young bands in a song such as this is a telling reflection of the society young artists are growing up in.
The last tune is called “Connect the Dots.”
“Need to go out on my own, need to spend more time at home,” the lyrics are an eloquent contradiction of needing space from relationships or friends, and finding time to grow. It’s a totally different sound, with a lot going on, but it’s okay as the band experiments and explores to see what sticks. The lyrics and melody are great, and as they try out ideas in their studio session, they’ll find what to keep for their much-anticipated full-length album.
If Greer stays true to themselves, the sky is the limit. The group has a wonderful collection of songs that holds high promise for new indie-pop stardom. With a more polished sound, the EP has more playability and can garner much radio attention.
Their vulnerability and relatability are great, so the young band shouldn’t cover their rawness up too much with gleaming studio varnish. They have enough talent that they don’t have to. They’re capable of so much at such a young age, and they are just starting to climb the mountain of what they can achieve with this EP.
I’ll be listening to these songs, in an LED lined ceiling room or cruising down Coast Highway.
For more about Greer, visit https://greertheband.com.