After releasing an EP in 2008, Carney went AWOL for the better part of two years as frontman Reeve Carney shifting his focus to acting. He starred in Julie Taymor’s version of The Tempest and landed the lead role in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a rock musical with songs written by U2. Reeve’s bandmates eventually joined the show’s orchestra, but production problems plagued Spider-Man from the very start, pushing its budget past $50 million and making it the most expensive musical in Broadway history. In the midst of the show’s many problems, Carney found time to return to the recording studio and bang out a quick album -- one that lacks the promotional push that a functioning Spider-Man would’ve provided, perhaps, but an eclectic rock record nonetheless.
Out of the four tracks that appeared on Carney’s EP, three are reprised here. Inspired by the Black Crowes and a number of ‘70s Southen rock bands, they’re the hardest tunes on the album, with “Testify” featuring a Zeppelin-styled outro (replete with moaning vocals, à la “Whole Lotta Love”) and “Nothing Without You” moving between thick harmonies and heavy power chords. Mr. Green, Vol. 1 also makes room for more left-field tunes, though, from the intimate Jeff Buckley folk of “Think of You” to the jazzy showbiz-pop song “Amelie.” Reeve Carney is still the obvious leader of the group, but his guitar-playing brother pulls more than his share of the weight, making Mr. Green, Vol. 1 a solid family effort.