The Grass IS Greener

Emerald Aquarium

Review Date: June 2016
Reviewer: Paul Jack
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
(www.rockhardreviews.com)

Emerald Aquarium

Emerald Aquarium is Max Mayhew's fun and entertaining solo project. Max hails from Hertfordshire, and, performing as Emerald Aquarium, he turns out very listenable pop-punk and grunge flavoured tunes. A new EP, 'The Grass IS Greener', was released in June 2016 and is filled with a cheeky and quirky brand of British humour which we fell in love with straight away.

There are four tracks to The Grass IS Greener, which is available digitally for FREE, or six if you contact Max via the Emerald Aquarium facebook page and ask nicely for a physical copy.

Max asked us to review the digital Emerald Aquarium EP, so that's what we have been listening to, over at the Rock Hard Reviews office. The opener is As Pig, a short, upbeat and cheery pop-punk number. It's fast and melodic, with just enough room in the middle for Max to show off his guitar chops with a nifty solo.

Next up is Wreck. As in being wrecked at the end of the night, a condition this reviewer is rather familiar with. Where did I put my hangover remedy - oh yes. Now, on with the review. Wreck reminds us what a proper British punk attitude should sound like, and features a justly anarchic tone to the vocals, which are interspersed between and occasionally over a simple but catchy riff. In fact in reminds me of a particularly heavy night I had after watching The Clash perform a lifetime ago.

Track number three is Fruit Salad, a track so absurd that it brings an unexpected smile to your face. It's a cover of the famous children's song by popsters The Wiggles. Thankfully the Emerald Aquarium version is not painful, unlike the Kanye West Fruit Salad dance video that did the rounds online. You can't unsee that vid. Fortunately, Emerald Aquarium has given the song a punk kick in the pants, and it works well. It is still a song for young kids, but much more listenable than the original.

Last up, digitally at least, we have What They Don't Tell You Is That The Grass IS Greener. Sounds like a bit of an Oasis / Nirvana mashup, a meld of old Britpop and grunge. Max's vocal work is impressive, with his versatility on show for all to hear. Let us not forget to mention the tight guitar licks and another snazzy solo on WTDTYITTGIG.

So, how can you listen to the EP? Head on over to the Emerald Aquarium page on Bandcamp emeraldaquarium.bandcamp.com/album/the-grass-is-greener page where it won't cost you a penny. But we would encourage you to donate if you want to support a worthy, talented musician.

Track List

  • As Pig
  • Wreck
  • Fruit Salad (The Wiggles Cover)
  • What They Don't Tell You Is That The Grass IS Greener

Bonus Tracks (available with the physical copy only)

  • 2Fun Acoustic (Bonus Track)
  • Stork Love (Bonus Track)