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Greenwheel & Go Van Gogh: Power Pop Mixed With Hard Rock, Dance and Multiple Name Changes
Back in 2002, I attended a concert here in Chicago. The band playing was Our Lady Peace, a group I have been a fan of since their first release 1994. It was a great show for sure and I also happened upon an unknown band that struck me as pretty good as well.
They were the first opening band of the night and their name was Greenwheel. Hailing from St. Louis and having undergone multiple name changes, Greenwheel has a good catchy sound that is part pop, part hard rock with maybe a little proto punk feel thrown in as well. Although they have a few releases out (one through Universal Records and two independent I believe) I've only heard the first one so far and only a few tracks from the new release.
Their music is best described as power pop, but unlike most power pop bands in my opinion, they have a feeling of authenticity that comes through well and lets you know that these guys like their music and put a little (maybe even a lot) of their soul into it. They also have some good lyric lines and hard rock elements that at times make them sound like everyone from Incubus to Our Lady Peace, to Train.
My favorite song they do so far is "Dim Halo" off of Soma Holiday, their first major release. It is a catchy riff rocker has surges in emotion that combined with a nice guitar riff make for a great song. I've also heard "Trigger" off of their newer release Bridges for Burning and although I like the song, it has a slightly different feel than their previous works. New feels are generally a good thing, but I didn't have the same instant reaction to this song that I had to the band when I saw them live. I could be because it's a bit angrier than their earlier works, or it might just be that I need to see them perform it live. The other new song I've heard is "Lonely Afterglow." This song definitely struck me like their early works. It is a bit of a punk influenced rocker, with soulful vocals that, as I said, sound very power pop like, but with a bit of authenticity that seems lacking from some other groups at times.
They do put on a good show, or at least they did at that Our Lady Peace show back in 2002, and judging from the new tracks I'm going to have to see if I can catch this band play live once again.
Also, apparently they have decided to branch out into a new band. Called Go Van Gogh they have already planned for a release or already released an album. The tracks from this new band do have a slightly different feel even though I believe it consists of the same members. I think they have a little more of a dance and lighter feel than the proto punk/hard rock sounding pop of Greenwheel. Definitely a little funkier and a little artsier and surreal. So far, of the tracks I've listened to by this new effort, "After Your" and "So In Love" are my favorites as they have catchy guitar tracks combined with a sound that I think hints at bands like the Cure, Interpol and maybe the Killers...maybe. It's almost an 80s era sound I guess.
Overall, I think these guys definitely have some talent. I thought they had talent as Greenwheel. According to their website, Greenwheel still exists and will be playing shows and releasing music. Even better... two bands I can listen to.
If you're interested in some power pop influenced rock with bits of hard rock, check out Greenwheel, while if you're interested in their more dance influenced rock, check out Go Van Gogh. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on both.
Here's a link to the Greenwheel website: http://greenwheel.net/
As well as the band's Myspace where you can listen to some of their music: http://www.myspace.com/greenwheel
Here's a Link to the Go Van Gogh Myspace where you can listen to some of their music: http://www.myspace.com/govangoghtheband