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Los Angeles "grunge-gaze" rockers Goon bring their heavy, melodic sound to the Empty Bottle on Thursday, November 21
image from Partisan Records
Goon's latest album, Heaven Is Humming, plays like an ode to all the best parts of '90s alt-rock. There's Pixies/Breeders-style heavy weirdness on tracks like opener "F Jam" or "Critter." Nirvana riffs lead jammers like "Datura" or "Northern Saturn." And when the guitars aren't chugging, lurching or jangling over bombastic drums and bass, singer Kenny Becker retreats to a quieter, more contemplative space a la Elliott Smith on "Snoqualmie" or closer "CCLL." Bits of field recordings and pre-programmed Casio beats round out the lo-fi soundscape.
And as exciting as the touchpoints are, Goon distills their influences into something trippier, poppier and all their own. This album, a three year labor of love, is their second release on Brooklyn-based Partisan, and also incorporates the group's first studio recordings and collaborative arrangements. Previously a one-man solo project from painter (see the band's album art), songwriter and frontman, Kenny Beckner, the band now includes singer and guitarist Drew Eccleston, bass player Caleb Wicker and drummer Christian Koons.
The results are phenomenal and best enjoyed loud. Key tracks like laid-back rocker "Black Finch" and woozy "Cammie At Night" are instant head bobbers in the greatest way imaginable. And while the individual songs are astounding in their own right, the collective vision displayed on Heaven Is Humming speaks to bigger and even bolder things to come.
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