Paris was renowned for its blues / jazz scene in the 1950s, so it’s no wonder that a strong influence of that sort of music survives to this day. Green Dollar Colour started when Anthony De Lemos, a Parisian in Australia, found a rock singer called Lex Koritni in 2003. Related to Aussie rock royalty such as Jimmy Barnes and Swanee, he was well steeped in the sounds of classic rock. The two paired up and produced this one, self-titled album. Mixing De Lemos’s classy, blues-influenced soloing and imaginative riffing with Kortini’s gritty voice, the album was an instant classic, but sadly, success did not follow and they disbanded after this one release. Kortini went on to form Kortini, now based in France. With a penchant for covering classic Angels tracks, the direction is not far from this album, but mixing the voice with lesser guitar players means the band has faced diminishing returns.
The album opens with ‘Dirty Letter,’ a blues shuffle mixed with chords that sound like early Angels. With a big chorus and a dirty middle eight that rolls in to a big bluesy solo, this is a real statement of intent. There’s no real shredding on this CD, what you get is a lot of really classy, tasty lead guitar work.
The whole album is a wild ride, all the songs exuding the same quality but never sounding the same, living within a classic rock template but taking it in different directions, that voice always soaring above it all. The vocals probably hit their peak on ‘I Wanna Know,’ a slower semi-ballad that gives Kortini a lot of room to move and show what he can do.
Tasty guitar playing is in evidence throughout, from the churning riff of ‘Heart Donation’ to the driving guitar and excellent solo on ‘No Regrets,’ to the more laid-back blues of ‘Top of the World.’ Mess with love sounds a bit like ZZ Top, ‘You Fed Me Lies’ sounds like a song Jimmy Barnes had lying around, but all of it sounds like Green Dollar Colour, their unmistakable stamp evident even as they are derivative and dedicated to a classic rock sound.
If you’re a fan only of Metal with growled vocals and shredding guitar, you won’t find much to love here. But if your tastes go back to bands like Aerosmith, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and AC/DC, you will find much to love on this hidden gem. If you’re really keen, Koritni are still a going concern. The best albums are the live ones, because the covers are generally better than the originals, and you’ll even get the odd Green Dollar Colour song throw in live for good measure. One way or another, if you don’t love it, your dad probably will.