There’s a little something for everyone when it comes to the music of Anthony Green. The man has become one of the more notable icons in the scene through his array of projects, each showcasing a different angle of his recognizable vocal abilities. Not a fan of the post-hardcore chaos of Saosin? Check out the experimental art rock of The Sound of Animals Fighting. Not into the ambient alt-rock of Circa Survive? Throw on the mellow indie rock of his solo outings.
Of course, with so many different musical personalities, it’s easy to understand why one might feel a bit fragmented when following his work. Over time though, Green’s musical endeavors have begun to swing closer and closer to a central point, melding into his most recent release, Young Legs. This new album is the most seamless and unified effort of his solo career, and thus, it is certainly his best.
A large reason for the uniform atmosphere of Young Legs is the addition of Good Old War, a band that has often contributed backing assistance to Green, but this time provides the soundscape of the entire record. With ease, they transition themselves to fit whatever emotion Green is emitting and provide the perfect backdrop.
The album’s opener, “Breaker”, sounds like an extension of last year’s Circa Survive outing, Violent Waves, but with a more personal feel. The guitar work on the latter half of the song is captivating and grabs your attention without distracting from the song itself. It’s an excellent choice to kick of the album. “100 Steps” is a piano driven number with a building chorus that sounds like it belongs somewhere on soft-rock radio.
As for Green’s vocals, they’ve never sounded better. “When You Sang to Me” finds Green at his best, effortlessly crooning the ghostly chorus of “I wasn’t the only one awake when you sang to me”. Likewise, the quiet and somber “I’ll Miss You” showcases the soft layered, haunting vocals that Green pulls off better than anyone. The slow acoustic track, “Conversation Piece”, is simple in sound, but complex in its delivery, with Green painfully singing, “The very thing that made me want you in the first place is what’s driving me away”.
Anthony Green has always been well adored for his vocal ability, but what makes Young Legs so special is his willingness to corral and harness his delivery. His vocals manage to express pain, confusion and joy throughout the album’s 11 tracks without ever resorting to his screechy upper register. The constraint is appropriate and allows the richness of his voice to shine through on each and every song. It turns out, Anthony Green is an even better singer than we knew.
Green’s solo releases have always felt like a special treat for those who clung tightly to his other projects. However, both Avalon and last year’s Beautiful Things often felt more like collections of b-sides and random ideas – not poor work, but disjointed in their presentation. Young Legs triumphs by standing alone as a cohesive work of art that feels complete from front to back. As Green has grown as an artist, he has become noticeably more confident and controlled in his output, and with Young Legs, he has once again set a new standard for himself and generated even more excitement for his future work.
by Kiel Hauck
Kiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.