This Time Around
Green on Red named one of its three earlier, independent-label albums The Killer Inside Me — the title of a novel by Jim Thompson, a ’50s crime writer who built a cult reputation describing characters who are quietly but unmistakably deranged. The people in the band’s songs are likewise deranged; beneath their down-home American exterior lies an abyss of wildness and despair on This Time Around. The husband in ”Good Patient Woman” apologizing to his stalwart wife for a lifetime of failure is about to go upstairs and shoot himself. And the man in ”This Time Around,” who finally finds his perfect woman, observes: ”She bites my toes and makes me shiver.” Note, though, that a lot of these songs are amusing, too. ”Foot,” for instance, is about a sideshow attraction, someone with the largest feet in captivity.
The band’s music — a wiry blend of roots rock and country — is the perfect vehicle for conveying both humor and the chill wind of dismay. It jabs at its targets, sometimes lurching in unexpected directions. The beat and melodies are strong, though; the music always lands solidly. As if to prove how tough it is, the band recorded this entire album live, with no remixing or overdubs. Maybe that’s why, even in a few distinctly minor songs, the album never loses its edge.