In the three years that have passed since Green River Ordinance recorded its first EP, “Breaking the Surface,” the band has matured into one that combines probing lyrics with infectious melodies. The result of this growth is their debut full-length album, “The Beauty of Letting Go.”Originally intending to release a four-song demo CD, the band members changed their minds when they found themselves unhappy with the initial product.
“When the album didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, we decided to re-record,” guitarist Jamey Ice said. “We had a bunch of really great people calling in favors, and we changed producers and engineers, decided to record ten songs instead of six, and the result was ‘The Beauty of Letting Go.'”
Included in this decision was the option to re-mix “Pick Me Up” and “Stay,” two songs from the band’s previous EP.
“We re-recorded ‘Pick Me Up’ and ‘Stay’ because those were our favorite tracks off of ‘Breaking the Surface,'” Jamey said. “Plus, the person who engineered those actually engineered for Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson and the new Our Lady Peace CD.”
From the upbeat pop of “Breath of Life” to the slower, more pensive “Everything You Are,” “The Beauty of Letting Go” is an hour’s worth of catchy melodies and harmonies that leave you hard-pressed to refrain from singing along.
“Every one of our songs has a story behind it,” bass player Geoff Ice said. “They all tie into the theme of letting go of certain things that hold you back. So much of life is spent focusing on trivial matters, and the album is about taking a step back and looking at the big picture.”
Geoff said the band has evolved drastically over the six years since he and his brother started playing songs together.
“Originally our music was pretty cheesy,” Geoff said. “But now it reflects a broad range of musical influences, from Matchbox 20 to Sigur Ros and also the change of us as individuals.”
Aside from Jamey and Geoff, Green River Ordinance is composed of lead singer Josh Jenkins, guitarist Josh Wilkerson and a new addition, drummer Denton Hunker.
“Denton is great,” Geoff said. “He’s such a happy-go-lucky person, and he really brings a positive energy to the band.”
Although lead singer Jenkins handles the majority of the music, the rest of the band pulls together to complete the songs.
“Our writing is more collaborative than structured,” Jamey said. “During practice someone will start goofing off and then we all play off of each others work.”
Since the release of “Breaking the Surface,” when the band turned serious, it has won a slew of contests and awards, including the TCU Battle of the Bands in 2004, the Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards’ Best New Band in 2003 and the Best Live Band of 2004. However, the group hasn’t let it go to their heads.
“We really want to make good music that we like and people can relate to,” Geoff said. “We just want people to have fun.”
Green River Ordinance will be having a CD release party at The Aardvark on Saturday following the foodball game. Girls get in for free, and “The Beauty of Letting Go” will be on sale for $11.