Review: Sam Russo- Greyhound Dreams (Specialist Subject)

Posted: December 19, 2015 in Reviews

Greyhound Dreams cover art

At the moment I’m sitting in a hotel room in Barcelona, Spain listening to this album by English Folk Punk singer-songwriter Sam Russo, not to be confused with the dude from Unwritten Law (I think his name is Scott). Although Russo played guitar in Brendan Kelly and Dan Andriano’s side project The Falcon, I believe this is Folk Punk of the more melancholic type and seems to jump on the recent trend of punkers starting to play Folk music. Musically, I don’t hear much ‘punk rock’, it’s really slow ballads most of the time and reminds me a lot of Sun Kil Moon, but with vocals that sound like a more high pitched Frank Turner. There are times when he does get a bit shout-y, and unlike most singers in the genre it’s the parts I enjoy the most. “Eye Candy” sounds like what I’d imagine it’d sound like if Mark Kozelek inhaled helium, had Frank Turner playing guitar and sang an unknown Bob Dylan song from the The Times They are A-Changing era and sang a duet with Emmylou Harris.

“Crayfish Tales” sounds like it’s from Alex Turner’s Submarine soundtrack and is the best song on the record. “Moving North” really has the Sun Kil Moon storytelling vibe. Overall I think the album is a pretty good effort, but in a genre that knows no end and has few standout acts, this does not stand out either and just blends in with the rest of the punk singers growing beards and singing acoustic songs. Does this guy have a beard? I’m not sure, I hate to generalize, but my ears say he does! The album also misses the edge that most Folk Punk dudes have, and like I said earlier he’s one who could really benefit from that edge. Where a lot of these beardos have a tendency to sound a bit out of hand when they shout, Russo actually pulls it off pretty well and I’d like to hear more of that, personally. The female harmonies that appear from time to time really help the sound not be too monotonous. I do really like the line “I ain’t fooling no one, I ain’t fooling you…I’m nobody’s fool” from “Nobody’s Fool”. It’s a nice Folk Punk album appropriate for the time of the year, but I really do miss the Punk, I guess.

Listen here: http://specialistsubject.bandcamp.com/album/greyhound-dreams

RH

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