Earl Greyhound’s ‘Suspicious Package’ mixes traditional with modern

Earl Greyhound
“Suspicious Package”
Hawk Race Records
★★★1/2

by Pat Prince
On its sophomore album, “Suspicious Package,” Earl Greyhound proves to be a throwback rock band in the same sense that Wolfmother and Black Mountain are throwback bands. Where the aforementioned bands hang on every ’70s hard-rock riff, Earl Greyhound’s influences are vast. If this New York City trio’s influences were a loaded jukebox, it would be of the greatest rock bands of all time, of many different genres. One minute you can hear something as harmonious and prog as Yes, and next it’s the hard blues rock of a James Gang. Sometimes in the same song.

But Earl Greyhound is no glorified tribute band. With a hip contemporary seasoning, the band’s music comes out fantastic in the final mix. Standout songs are “Oye Vaya,” where the song comes on strong like late-’60s acid rock getting sucked up and modernized by a Mars Volta essence, and “Sea of Japan,” which has a certain X feel to it, some post-punk back-and-forth between vocalist/guitarist Matt Whyte and bassist Kamara Thomas.

At times, the guitar playing of Whyte is so razor-raw organic that you just want to bottle it like a fragrance and spray it around the room. It all makes for one outstanding listen.

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