It has been a fair old journey for UK rockers GOOD GRIEF and indeed their debut album, Shake Your Faith but now for all to explore with its recent release, they and we can only feel that it was well worth the patience and determination, the record quickly drawing more than a fair chunk of attention and exciting fans and critics alike.
Liverpool hailing, Good Grief was formed in 2012 and fully emerged on attention the following year via a series of split 7″s and an excellent EP on Odd Box Records. It was a time of creativity and success which drew HHBTM Records to the trio and saw them place them alongside EUREKA CALIFORNIA for a split EP. 2015 saw the band go on a kind of hiatus as real life took precedence though they did unite for the occasional show including the sharing of stages with the likes of WUSSY and SUPERCHUNK. Three years later they regrouped and in 2019 set about working on their first album. With it well under away and set to be completed, Covid and lockdown descended on us all bringing, as for so many, a time of uncertainty for band and record which you sense has been emotionally absorbed by the release in its creation, a certain tension being echoed in its clamour and a sense of relief in its almost celebratory uproar.
The trio of guitarist/vocalist Will Fitzpatrick, bassist/vocalist Paul Abbott and drummer Matiss Dale immediately get down to business with album opening Metal Phase, a potent lure of guitar quickly joined by just as magnetic beats. In no time the track is strolling through ears with infection soaking every temptation, the band’s mix of punk rock and noise bred power pop certainly more welcomingly than adversarial but with a tempestuousness that enjoyably trespasses the senses and becomes even more potently invasive across the release.
The ear grabbing start continued as How Can I Help Falling In Love? entangled ears with a great fruity sonic vine before breaking into a following saunter of jabbing beats and rapacious riffs. Again there is an inherent catchiness to the song which is echoed in the lively tones of Fitzpatrick and Abbott, its swinging gait and boisterous roar matched by that of next up High To Low, a song soon making claim for favourite track honours with its agile rhythms and web of flirtatious hooks amid melodic incitement. As its swarming of noise subsides for even greater temptation within inventive enterprise, the song was in full control.
Statement Brickwork has a calmer gait but one no less catchy in its pop punk/alt rock instincts while The Pony Remark marries flirtatious jangle with senses rapping rhythms for a power pop stirred jaunt with a hue of The Motors to it. Both songs had ears and body fully involved with the latter especially hitting the spot, a mark successor Dimension Jump also inflamed with its melancholy hued breath and melodic weaving. There is a great drone like quality to the Good Grief sound at times and it is a prowess which the song especially embraces and seductively highlights eventually bringing it to a forcibly appealing and tempestuous climax.
Through the noise casting hue and cry of New Town and the equally heartily rowdy Line By Line, the release strengthened its hold on attention with the bass of Abbott sparking our instincts with his throatily grumbling basslines, Dale’s rhythms again dextrously swung and hungrily landing especially in the second of the two. The song is another particular highlight of the release soon joined by The Oldest Things On Earth, it too drawing on the punk seeds of its predecessor to cast its own esuriently catchy tumult of noise and sonic tempting.
With the evocatively woven Hatches and Kissing Through Curtains with its unassuming yet potent contemplation bringing the album to a highly pleasing close, the closer joined by guest vocalist Sarah Maher, Shake Your Faith proved one highly infectious and enjoyable encounter. It has been on a journey of time, maybe doubt and certainly determination but now we expect it to reap the rewards for perseverance.
Shake Your Faith is out now via HHBTM Records (US) and Everything Sucks Music (UK/Europe); available digitally and on vinyl @ https://goodgriefliverpool.bandcamp.com/album/shake-your-faith and https://hhbtm.bandcamp.com/album/shake-your-faith
Pete RingMaster 07/04/2022
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