Saturday, 21 May 2016

7 inch single collection: Green On Red - You Couldn't Get Arrested

Alt-country, or Nu-Country or Americana, or Whatever it's called now...


A: You Couldn't Get Arrested
B: Broken Radio
(China 1990)

Green on Red were a country music group - although in the late 80's/early 90's country music was so unhip that acts like this had to label themselves alt-country to make any kind of stab at respectability. It still happens today and this kind of music gets bracketed as "Nu-Country", or to distance itself even further "Americana". I'm not quibbling over names of genres - it sounds like country music to me. Also the guitarist is called Chuck Prophet, and you don't get much more cowboy than that, unless you're wearing a Stetson and are being played by John Wayne.

I've already said what genre the record is - so what does it actually sound like? You Couldn't Get Arrested has a slow twangy feel with rasped vocals, proving a veneer of sneer over the melody. It's the sound of an isolated desert township, empty except for the occasional tumbleweed. There's a subtle and understated organ underneath the stark guitar part. There's not much to it in the end, but it's highly likable despite that.

Broken Radio on the flip side is even more laid back - if that's possible! It's got a proper slide guitar or possibly pedal steel guitar on it. It's even more redolent of that stereotyped image of canyons and Badlands, with some lonesome cowboy riding off into the distance. Broken Radio is a melancholy tune, filled with a nostalgia for something that probably never existed.

It's a good record, but, ultimately, one that I'm unlikely to listen to too often, just because it's something that I really have to be in the mood for. However what I can say is that this is country music and it's good country music.

Next time some baggy scally scousers...

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