Ex-Pet is the "solo project" of Greg Nissan, who has previously played in the band Stolen Jars, all around the East Coast. For Green Accent, Nissan "decided to take my spaced-out, melody-driven bedroom jams and turn them into an album," recruiting an army of like-minded musical allies. The results are insanely lush; with stacks and layers of guitars meeting luscious male/female vocal harmonies, and further fleshed out with occasional sunbursts of horn stabs.
Nissan cites the psychedelic pop of the Elephant 6 continuum, specifically Olivia Tremor Control and Neutral Milk Hotel, which is combined with Elvis Costello's caustic, cutting wit. Ex-Pet combines the best of all of these worlds; catchy and melodic, while remaining weird, adventurous and occasionally dark. Sharp, cutting guitars and songwriting, meet a floating, psychedelic ambiance that makes Green Accent simultaneously romantic and relaxing, and energizing and exciting.
Green Accent was recorded at Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen in Brooklyn, where Nissan and friends wielded a large array of guitars and amps to capture a wide variety of tones and textures. You can tell as the guitars are the most noticeable feature of the record. Gelatinous-flanged guitars ("You Are You Are") meet clean and precise electrics ("Belle") and impossibly intricate acoustics ("Austria"). Everything is exquisitely leveled, seemingly swathed in an analog nimbus, where even the sharpest and most cutting upstrokes are never harsh or grating. Green Accent puts you under its spell and never lets you go, pulling you further and deeper into its labyrinthine world.
The more you listen, the more you notice, like when the band changes key for the bridge of "Old Words,” that suggests Ex-Pet knows a thing or two about music theory, as well as being inherently skilled songwriters. Green Accent is full of little moments like these; catchy guitar stingers that will have you humming for days, and mirror-like vocal harmonies from Molly Grund that helps to take the edge of Nissan's reedy lead.
Ex-Pet is in the process of putting together a live band. They seem to be gathering some momentum, and are preparing to take their infectious madness to the world. That is good, as I have no doubt that everyone with a soul who hears their blend of keen guitar work and tasty arrangements will become instantly obsessed.
Major points for being adventurous and experimenting, while remaining rooted in melodicism and classic songwriting.
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