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The Goon Sax – Up to Anything (Chapter Music – 2016)

”No, I don’t care about much, but one of the things I care about is you“ The Goon Sax sing on their debut single. They go on telling us ”And sometimes I think about things, and sometimes I accidentally think about you“. Louis Forster, one of the singers (guitarist and also bass player), is the son of Robert Forster, the legendary Go-Between, who still has an active career on his own, releasing great records. Their debut single, „Sometimes Accidentally“, already made a promise that the album now fulfills. Observations of daily life, coming of age, happy and unhappy love. All of it is packed into a sound that may remind you of the early Go-Betweens in parts. This may be true to a certain extent, still The Goon Sax found a sound of their own without hiding their origins in Down Under. Everything feels slightly insecure, with a certain DIY attitude. Also the lyrics reflect these insecurities and the first few songs alone contain many memorable lines. The songs are about piles of books next to bed that have been lying round there for weeks, hatred for telephones, and haircuts of rock stars: “I show them a picture of Roger McGuinn / Edwyn Collins / John Lennon / David Byrne / It seems I just can’t win“. The singer also tells us: ”I never feel very comfortable with my own body“ and ”sometimes I feel my clothes are wearing me“ – a person not feeling really comfortable with himself yet. He tells us about lacking acceptance, or at least not getting the same amount of it in some of his relationships: ”sometimes I don’t know if you even know me […] I only ever do anything cause I’m thinking about you“. You feel for him. And even the set phrase ”I’m making the best of a bad situation“ is reversed into ”I’m making the worst of a bad situation“ (in „Making the worst“). The complete negation of any optimism. Here’s the point where you want to tell the band: everything will be fine in the end. Sometime. When your older. Up to then I don’t want to miss the naivety of The Goon Sax and their great melodies. Opposed to their self-confidence they have quickly found their sense of pop music. Fans of The Clean, The Bats, and any ragged indie pop in general will find lots of pleasures listening to this record. And fans of the Go-Betweens anyway. And don’t you want to see and hear for yourself what Louis Forster has made of his fathers talent? Surely you also want to tell everyone in a few years that you have known The Goon Sax from the first album on.

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