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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Goodwin - s/t

Name: Goodwin
Album: s/t
Year: 2004
Style: Alternative
Similar Bands: Seven Mary Three, Bob Mould, Semisonic, Gin Blossoms, Fretblanket
"One-Word" Review: settling for alternative mediocrity
Based Out Of: Ft Worth / Dallas TX
Label: Self-Released
Goodwin - Cover & CD Tray
Goodwin - Liner Photo, CD & Back

Goodwin (2004)
  1. Song 2:05
  2. February 3rd 2:05
  3. Matts Letter 4:11
  4. Dick and Jane 4:13
  5. To the People 2:45
  6. Airport 2:56
  7. Go 3:37
  8. March 4:01
  9. This Time 3:49
  10. Weight 3:57
  11. Under 2:48
Album Rating (1-10): 5.5

Members & Other Bands:
Jeff Horne - Mixing
Toby Sheets - Mastering
Tony Diaz - Vox (Near Miss)
Daniel Gomez - Guitar, Vox (Morakestra)
Matt Hembree - Bass
Damien Stewart - Drums

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of this band. It was, again from a friend’s cast offs. I really like the DNA helix-like design on the cover. A bold, clean and simple design & name in white against blue background makes it stand out. Combined with the back, which is the arrow and handwritten notes/tracks, a complete minimal design is attained and it makes me think that the band has a planned aesthetic and specific style of energy and pop. All signs point to descent art direction in accordance with what I like, so let’s see if I’m disappointed. Because the simple design, rather than a planned attack, could be a result of a low budget in style and songwriting.

Album Review: “Song” starts with power guitar, and the vocals are somewhere between Creed and Seven Mary Three. The song has pop punk energy, but I’m not a fan of the vocal style/sound.
“February 3rd” is more fun, chugging, driving song, that does sound a little like (as the band has commented) Bob Mould. It keeps the pop punk in check behind a driving catchy song.
“Matt’s Letter” starts with short bursts of sections of ringing guitars punctuated by metallic drums. It kinda feels like a generic Dismemberment Plan song. The vocals are very different, way to smooth and confident, but the basic song structure and instrument sounds almost qualify it for something that could be better.
“Dick and Jane” chugs forward with one hollow chord. The vocals give it a very “heard this before” alternative rock sound. I could see Bush (the band, not the horrific ex-president) fans enjoying this. Overall, the song is light and never treads on threatening territory.
“To the People” has a fun kick start with immediate & quick build up & release of musical energy. This song makes me think of an American idol version of Semisonic. This music is pretty much impossible to really hate; its problem is that it is just too easy to ignore.
“Airport” echoing back wash reverb on the guitars sets this song apart. But other than that effect, the song is another polite driving alternative rock song. It has a little “Hey Jealosy-like” guitar hook too.

“Go” begins as a slower tempo song with a bit of Vedder-fluster in the vocals. The guitar is happy, a bit like Dinosaur Jr’s “Start Chopin” in the verse, but nowhere near as enjoyable. The chorus begins with the release of emotion with the word “Go.” Just as you feel it will return with the energetic chorus, the song quietly ends.
“March” drives right from the get go with drums & cymbals & chugging guitars. I might have liked this back in high school, as I remember liking a band called Fig Dish, whom this sounds a little like, but I think Fig Dish had more structured songs and more complex & catchier hooks. Also, the band Fretblanket is very similar from what I can remember, and I liked them a lot, too. Only problem is that this is about 10 years too late.
“This Time” builds at the outset and peters out into a predictable alt-rock melody as if it has settled for mediocrity. Ack, the chorus’s use of the title actually hurts to hear at how pathetic it is.
“Weight” fades in with guitar and vocals sung as if through a megaphone. The vocals continue with very minor distortion and the sound more Vedder-ish than before.
“Under” has a very positive but repetitive guitar start. Then the chord pattern alters slightly and gains more potential as an interesting song. But again, the song settles for mediocrity. There are song interesting guitar flourishes, but they are hidden in the backdrop of simplicity.

The CD breifly started over, and I had a moment of I can't take this anymore when the first song began. It is not a good thing, and sums up the album, even if "Feb 3rd" is not that bad of a song.

Stand Out Track: February 3rd



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