The Greenberry Woods: Rapple Dapple

Top-notch power-pop from the mid-90s

This Maryland quartet had the misfortune to make top-notch power-pop at a time when such sounds contrasted unfavorably to the angsty zeitgeist of the mid-90s. Led by three singer-songwriters, Ira Katz and twin brothers Matt and Brandt Huseman, the Greenberry Woods released this debut album on Sire, garnering opening tour slots with Deborah Harry and the Proclaimers, radio play for the single “Trampoline,” and a couple of television appearances. In a just world these would have sent their album to stratospheric heights, but in the fickle world of pop music, it wasn’t enough to catch on. A superb 1995 follow-up, Big Money Item, faired no better commercially, and with the Huseman brothers working on their not-so-ironically-named side-project, Splitsville, the band fell apart. What they left behind resounds as strongly today as it did in 1994. Their songs are electric-guitar powered ear worms of the first degree, featuring catchy melodies, hook-filled choruses, yearning pop vocals and the Midas touch of co-producer Andy Paley. The CD is long out of print (though used copies can be scored for pennies on the dollar), but with Rhino’s MP3 reissue, power-pop fans owe it to themselves to place a copy alongside albums by Tommy Keene, Material Issue, Teenage Fanclub, Shoes, Adam Schmitt, the Moberlys and the rest of your secret pop crushes. 4-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

“Trampoline” video
“Adieu” video

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