Who Shot Hollywood- Springtime in Greenland EP

Who Shot Hollywood - Springtime in Greenland

Who Shot Hollywood - Springtime in Greenland EP

Massachusetts’ Who Shot Hollywood has median age of 14. Okay, at this point I’m already skeptical. Then after a minute of hearing the first song, I’m in disbelief at their age. They sound like a college band! I can’t prove it, but I’m fairly sure their press release lied to me. Okay, they’re not lying, but it’s important to not let their age cloud the actual music. While impressive, I was able to block out these kid’s age and focus only on the music flowing through my headphones. I promise.

The songs on Springtime in Greenland  bounce around electronics and standard instrumentation, not dissimilar to a Wolf Parade tune. Who Shot Hollywood pumps life into its songs with frenetic drumming, which frequently highlights the song. I’m not normally a guy who allows the drums to quite standout, but Who Shot Hollywood was able to catch my attention. The keyboards, however, can often get lost between the drumming and vocalist Lucas Kendall’s melodies, meandering throughout the verses aimlessly. And for some real frustration check out “Sue the Garage.” It opens with a promising flurry of keyboard, which turns into a bad guitar riff that sounds like it got cut out of a James Bond score. Once the guitar riffs leaves, a nice rhythmic song emerges, complete with a sharp melody. But in between verses of actual good music, James Bond returns, wreaks havoc, then flees. It’s minimal but it’s enough to completely overshadow the nice song Who Shot Hollywood actually had going.

They manage to recover from their 007 mission, and pump out a solid song, “The Yoga.” The highlight of the EP follows “The Yoga,” which showcases a real knack for making pop music. In “Psychic Surprise,” the music stalls while Kendall nails down a pretty vocal melody accompanied by warm static noises. Then the chorus breaks out and Who Shot Hollywood unleashes its instruments to give the song the life it needed to be complete. “Q & A” follows the gem, which backslides a bit, failing to deliver the sincerity of “Psychic Surprise.” Unfortunately, the album can’t close a high note. “Thinking of a Number” is snake bitten with the same problem that plagued “Sue the Garage,” where a lot of nice things are overshadowed by one bad thing. The music on “Thinking of a Number” is probably the strongest on the entire EP. The drums are feverish, the keyboard emerge with more purpose and the guitars are on target with raucous melody. The killer? Kendall’s melody. Throughout the entire EP, Kendall delivered consistently sharp melodies that usually held songs together. On the EP’s final song, however, Kendall loses it. He becomes too verbose, causing too many words to cram into a melody that isn’t compatible. It’s intangible, but something is just amiss in Kendall’s final melodic endeavor.

Springtime in Greenland is difficult to pin down. It certainly shows flashes of some really good ideas. It also features some real buzzkills. The opening track, “An Evening of Classical with the Masters” is a really strong effort, with all components on full tilt. “Psychic Surprise” is a really great song, one I would love to pop up on my Shuffle. But “Sue the Garage” is too frustrating to enjoy the other good element and “Thinking of a Number” is a bitter way to close things. The other songs, lead by “Notes from the Goodbye Factory” are all solid, upbeat pop songs that are pleasant listens. Springtime in Greenland overall is a fairly solid output, with ebbs and flows. Their A-game stuff is really worth hearing, their other stuff just passes through the ears. I really hope Who Shot Hollywood can go back to the lab and focus on the positives this EP exhibited, because the group certainly has talent. They just can’t let a few bad musical choices dull an otherwise sharp EP.