GOON is no longer the name of the little kids in school you hate, it is the name of your new favourite band in the form of 4-piece LA grunge lords. Having only formed in 2016 GOON haven’t been short of creative inspiration releasing 14 tracks in the shape of 4 releases since 2017. Many would judgementally grasp at the term ‘trying to run before you can walk’ when in reality GOON were simply walking getting their stride to give us a run down of big riffs, careful acoustic work and much more all on their debut.
Should you have ever doubted GOON we’ll give you 2 reasons why that’s absurd; firstly, they’re signed to Partisan Records and quite frankly if you can find a Partisan Records release that you think sucks we’ll you’re clearly a Goon (as in derogatory school bullying comment not these 4 legends), secondly Tom Ravenscroft of 6 Music said “they might be my new obsession.” Although Tom is a fantastic radio DJ and journalist himself, his father is John Peel; nuff said!
Opening the album with the flour ‘clacks’ of drumsticks we’re into the drone-like riff of opener F Jam, with part spaced out vocal, part crooning; the tone of the album is set, a tone that continues with latest single Black Finch which is picked on guitar with a mellower styling, but the wet sounding vocals remain.
Black Finch makes space for chugging 90s riff of Northern Saturn previously released as a 3 track this year. Northern Saturn continues GOON’s modern twist on the 90’s era; turn it up and head-bang along. And… if you thought you’re head-banging days were over just wait till album highlight Deny hits your ears, quite simple its layout is neck-injury head-banging sized riff, power verse, rinse and repeat, chuck a solo in there somewhere and it’s all done in just over 2 minutes.
“Snoqualmie is a delicate emotive lullaby featuring strings to compliment the mood filling out the track and further amplifying its tone.”
We’re thankful that although GOON have released five tracks ahead of the album they’ve measured them well choosing carefully how to showcase some of their best work releasing Snoqualmie whilst also leaving a very different beast, Deny for the full release. Snoqualmie is a delicate emotive lullaby featuring strings to compliment the mood filling out the track and further amplifying its tone.
Deny and Snoqualmie present themselves in sound as the ending of side A and the start of side B if played on a record (it is unclear if this is factually true); the polar opposites to show the breath GOON’s ability. In this way Cammie at Night feels like the middle ground between the pair, a rocky number with a slacker rock feel.
“Datura and following track Critter show that if you want a 90’s throwback GOON can give you that but if you want an album of inventiveness then they demonstrate over and over that they can give you that as well.”
When Datura hits we feel as though we’re listening to the pre-release equivalent of Deny, Datura is the second of the big riffs of the album but in Datura we’re hearing 90’s vocal all over it. Datura and following track Critter show that if you want a 90’s throwback GOON can give you that but if you want an album of inventiveness then they demonstrate over and over that they can give you that as well.
“[Check Engine Light features] the best guitar work on the album; not only in its playing careful and considered but its sound cannot be faulted.”
Although it feels by this point so much ground has been covered Heaven is Humming still boasts 3 more tracks, 2 of which are previously unreleased. Mem is one of GOON’s mellow moments, the wavy guitar picking grunge crooner dangling the line between grunge and slacker rock. Check Engine Light is a mid-tempo number, a track that could be a number to skip if it wasn’t for its solo which is the best guitar work on the album; not only in its playing careful and considered but its sound cannot be faulted, the result of all those hours tweaking at their guitar pedals was clearly worth it.
“CCLL is the unusually perfect finish to an album full of an ocean sized spectrum of sounds.”
Finishing the album is ethereal CCLL the peaceful serenade starting with softly strummed before the instrumentation builds layer upon layer of tranquillity. CCLL is the unusually perfect finish to an album full of an ocean sized spectrum of sounds.