by Alex LaRoza
Sounding simultaneously like a throwback to the days of The Kinks and a current lo-fi indie unit, Dover four-piece The Green Bullets have long been one of the mainstays of the seacoast NH music scene.
“We’re kind of equal parts garage/power pop with some glam, but I think the influences spread all over the place,” singer and guitarist Harry Griffin said. “As far as our place in the seacoast goes, it’s kinda hard to say, but I think we’re at a unique advantage because we can fit on a bill with harder garage bands but also play with more dance-oriented indie bands and not seem out of place.”
The band was formed in 2011 by Griffin and John W. Ayer, who eventually brought his brother Thomas A. Ayer into the fold in 2017. The group initially rotated musical instruments until the spring of 2018, when drummer Bailey Weakley left the Durham NH band Marvel Prone to become a bullet.
“We were all friends with Bailey previously and fortunately he just happens to be a killer drummer. So we asked him if he’d be into playing with us and he said yes,” Griffin said. “I have to stress that we love Bailey very much.”
With the addition of Weakley, the group settled into their current music roles. Harry and Thomas both play guitar, leaving John to take charge of the bass and the occasional keyboards. All three share vocal duties.
“I have really loved every moment that I’ve been on stage or in a practice room with these guys or just ganging out and chillin’,” Weakley said. “I definitely think I’ve grown a lot closer to all of them since being in the band and I’m excited to work on new songs and play more gigs.”
Though on the surface the Bullets's music sounds like a homage to the 60s British Invasion of The Beatles, The Kinks, and the early Who, a closer look reveals much more diverse influences. The group cite everyone from 70s proto-punk band The Modern Lovers, 60s psychedelic group The 13th Floor Elevators, and 21st century fuzz hounds Ty Segall and the Black Lips as musical influences. Similarly, though their melodies are pure power pop, lyrical moments like “Talking with you is like, driving in Boston” (off of “Talking With You”) reveal a dark, cynical wit.
“It’s kind of just venting and I’ve always been funny/good at nitpicking so I just go with it,” Griffin said of his lyrical approach. “I try at least to keep some self-criticism in my songs to avoid being on too much of a high horse.”
The group currently have one album out, the eponymous “The Green Bullets”. Released through their own Bandcamp page to the wider world of Spotify, the record was recorded at The Ridge in Deerfield NH throughout 2016, and released to receptive ears on April 15, 2017. All of this was prior to Bailey joining on drums. At the moment, the Bullets are working on new music.
“We’re playing a few house shows in April and then I’m pretty sure we’re doing Solarfest,” Griffin says. “We’ve definitely been accruing new songs and we’re setting up to record a couple singles before ultimately putting out album #2.”