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OUT TODAY: The Green – ‘Marching Orders’ [Easy Star Records]

By October 20, 2017Articles, blog
Island Stage Magazine
MARCHING ORDERS – THE GREEN’S ANTICIPATED FOURTH ALBUM – OUT TODAY, VIA EASY STAR RECORDS

Marching Orders isn’t the kind of Fall album you’ll have playing in the background, but the kind you’ll have blaring from your car or through your headphones. Marching Orders demands your explicit attention.” – TopShelf Reggae

“Stylistically, The Green merges roots reggae with elements of rock, pop and R&B, along with established Hawaiian flavors. The mixture produces an innovative, imaginative sound rife with palpable energy.” – The Huffington Post

Before The Green, no Hawaiian reggae band had crossed over to the mainland and become one of the biggest bands in the genre. No Hawaiian band had been able to deliver radio-friendly pop hits, inspiring anthems, and drum-and-bass heavy reggae grooves inspired by foundational bands like Aswad and Steel Pulse. The Green has accomplished all of this and much more in their groundbreaking career, and now are poised to go even further with their fourth studio album, Marching Orders, which comes out October 20, via longtime label partner Easy Star Records, and a just-announced winter tour beginning in January.Mostly recorded on the island of Oahu, Marching Orders was produced by The Green along with longtime friends and collaborators Christian Mochizuki (Justin Beiber, Kayne West, Jay-Z) and Leslie Ludiazo (J Boog, Hot Rain). A full house of talented singers and songwriters – the band’s founding core of Caleb Keolanui (vocals), Zion Thompson (guitar, vocals), JP Kennedy(guitar, vocals), Ikaika Antone (keys, vocals), and Brad Watanabe (bass, vocals), along with drummer Jordan Espinoza – created a collaborative mentality and allowed for new material to flow abundantly. The songwriting sessions produced a ton of strong new material that, as usual, is hard to pin down to one style or feel, except to classify it as “Green music.”

“This album truly is diverse,” says Thompson. “There’s roots, dancehall, pop, rock and, of course, love songs.”
Marching Orders is also full of collaborations, including multiple songs co-written and produced with Brian Fennell (Ryan Tedder, One Republic, The Fray, Third Eye Blind), as well as guest appearances by Grammy-nominees J Boog and Eric Rachmany (Rebelution), Jamaican dancehall superstar Busy Signal, and island music veterans Fiji and The Mana’o Company.

Many fans are already turned on to the record’s early singles, which are strong songs that can fit neatly into some of the Green’s previous prototypical styles – “I Will,” which garnered 186,000+ views of its lyric video in just under a month, is a powerful statement of purpose along the lines of previous hits like “Never” and “Gotta Be,” while “Mama Roots” (feat. J Boog) is a positive roots party tune, and “Marching Orders” (feat. Busy Signal) is an inspirational dancehall churner. Hit singles are usually expected from The Green at this point – but Marching Orders also reveals some real depth for the band as songwriters as well as maturation for the band members as they have grown up in public, going through marriages, births of children, and even deaths close to them.

“Feel So Cool,” for example, has JP Kennedy riding a killer riddim, urging a girl to “cruise around the island in my ’69 Chevelle,” but what listeners may not know is that the melody and lyrics to the song were actually written by their friend, Keoni Nicodemus, who passed away in 2014. The band got permission from Nicodemus’s family to finish the song and it became one of the standout tracks. “Maui Ninja,” which closes the record, also deals with the death of another close friend, Po’ohala Atay, who died in 2012, but whose spirit still sticks with the band and inspires them. “All I Need” is a love song written by Keolanui for his wife, while “The Garden” was written by Antone 13 years ago, which he pulled out when he was recently married. Antone says, “At the time I wrote the lyrics, I had not met or even seen her, though she existed in my imagination. She is the one that I would marry, start a family with, and grow old together. Over 10 years later, I married her.”      

Marching Orders also includes an excellent out-of-nowhere cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” and more songs on one of the band’s favorite subjects and pastimes – smoking weed – including a standout collaboration with Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany on “Good Feeling.” All in all, the record delivers what the band’s fans have been waiting for, while piling on surprising move after surprising move in the songwriting, arrangements, and choices made in production. It is sure to continue The Green on their path to the top of the U.S. reggae scene, while continuing to show so many ways that the band could break new unexpected ground on its way there.

The Green will support the release with a nationwide tour in January/February 2018, with support from Sammy J, Leilani Wolfgramm, and Jesse Royal (on select dates). Dates below.

Track Listing

 

  1. Marching Orders (feat. Busy Signal)
  2. I Will
  3. All I Need
  4. Good Feeling (feat. Eric Rachmany)
  5. Going Up
  6. So Cool
  7. Mama Roots (feat. J Boog)
  8. The Garden
  9. Foolish Love
  10. Land of Love (feat. The Mana’o Company)
  11. Seven Nation Army
  12. You’ve Been Crying
  13. My Rights (feat. Fiji)
  14. Maui Ninja

 

Upcoming Tour Dates:

 

01/05    Roseland Theatre, Portland, OR
01/06    The Showbox, Seattle, WA
01/07    McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR
01/09    Knitting Factory, Boise ID
01/10    The Depot, Salt Lake City, UT
01/12    Aggie Theatre, Ft. Collins, CO
01/13    Gothic Theatre, Englewood, CO
01/14    Slowdown, Omaha, NE
01/17    Granada Theatre, Lawrence, KS
01/19    Concord Music, Hall, Chicago, IL
01/20    A&R Music Bar, Columbus, OH
01/21    The Shelter, Detroit, MI
01/24    House of Independents, Asbury Park, NJ
01/25    The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
01/26    Highline Ballroom, New York, NY
01/27    Baltimore Soundstage, Baltimore, MD
01/28    Norva Theatre, Norfolk, VA
01/30    Terminal West, Atlanta, GA
02/01    The Beacham, Orlando, FL
02/02    Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale, FL
02/03    State, Theatre, St. Petersburg, FL
02/06    Gas Monkey, Dallas, TX
02/07    Scoot Inn, Austin, TX
02/09    Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ

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