"The war is on for your mind," sings Anthony Farrell, one half of the soulful Austin duo Greyhounds, "and we're on the same side." Arriving midway through the band's adventurous new album, 'Change Of Pace,' the line serves as a powerful refrain, with Farrell's voice peaking in intensity over musical partner Andrew Trube's chirping electric guitar. But more than just a memorable hook, it's an encapsulation of the shift in consciousness that defines the album, Greyhounds' second-and finest-collection of funky, blues-and-R&B-laced rock and roll for the iconic Ardent label.
"This record has a lot more to do with what's around us and our perceptions of that," explains Trube, who splits songwriting and singing duties with Farrell. "We're passionate about what's going on right now, and it's not necessarily 'political,' but as an artist, I feel like it's our duty to provide this looking glass for people to see what's going on around them and encourage them to wake up and start taking care of the world and each other."
Trube and Farrell first met while living in California, where an L.A. Weekly classified ad brought them together. The connection between the guitarist and keyboard player was instantaneous, and the remarkable magic they conjure together has since earned them widespread attention from critics and peers alike. Derek Trucks raved that "Greyhounds make real music, the right way and for the right reasons," while JJ Grey described their songs as landing "somewhere between a heartfelt hymn and the dirtiest jank you've ever heard in your life," and Gary Clark Jr. summed up a recent LA show by tweeting simply that they "crushed it as usual." Meanwhile, Esquire hailed their debut as "intoxicating [and] gut-wrenchingly lovely," USA Today compared them to "The Meters, Earl Hooker and Buck Owens," and Texas Monthly fell under the spell of their "ringing guitar...bluesy swagger, and all the pain a strained falsetto can convey."
That responsibility rings out loud and clear in songs like the slow-burning come-together anthem "Walls"-where Farrell sings "What happened to the feeling that we can make a change?"-and "Sizzle"-which finds Farrell reflecting, "So many people just don't seem to care / They think that it doesn't matter because it's happening over there / But they forget that all nations used to be one / Living under the same sun." There are lighter moments, to be sure, like the playful, Trube-penned "Late Night Slice," in addition to the deep wells of emotion that bubble up on the heartbroken "Cuz I'm Here" and the funky "For You," but across the board, the album showcases the remarkable artistic maturation the band has undergone in the short time since releasing 'Accumulator.
If 'Change Of Pace' is any indication, the Farrell-Trube filter is working in peak condition right now, and the timing couldn't be any better. The war is on for your mind, and Greyhounds' new album is without a doubt a win for the good guys.