While shuffling through the ever-dwindling bin of physical albums sent for weekly consideration, I set aside a package from the Brooklyn and London-based Partisan Records. Partisan has had a run of agreeable releases from the likes of Deer Tick, The Black Angels, Heartless Bastards, and Bombino, in addition to many others. A quick peruse and I learned that Partisan is reissuing Goon’s last two EPs in advance of a debut full-length for the label, which is expected in early 2019. Thought little more of it until the first bars of opener “Dizzy” rang through, and my ears, and attention, perked up.
Scrambling, I learned that Goon is an LA-based quartet fronted by main songwriter Kenny Becker. They have a healthy, if not cult-like, following in the City of Angels. Further listens confirmed why. There’s a raw, lo-fi (yet exceptionally catchy) scuzz to the first set of songs (side A is “Dusk of Punk,” originally released in 2016), with the highlights being “Gay Rage,” the aforementioned “Dizzy,” and previously unreleased “Enter Bethel Admissions.” The B side begins with “Chaka,” denoting a shift and maturation in both the sound and complexity of the songwriting. This also marks the beginning of the 2017 EP, “Happy Omen,” and a lushness and nuance that can only come from progressing as a songwriter and band. Re-releasing the EPs as one LP was a brilliant move on the label’s part. It not only isolates and represents the sonic arc of the band, but very much whets the appetite of the listener. I now have the first release I am eagerly anticipating in 2019.
“Dusk of Punk/Happy Omen” is available Friday, July 13, via Partisan Records on vinyl only, in a standard black colorway. A digital download of the album comes with each vinyl purchase. Limited-edition bundles are available direct from the label while supplies last, and include the LP (with download card), a free Goon pin (limited to first 50 orders), and a limited-edition hand-dyed 100 percent organic cotton t-shirt featuring a design based on the original “Dusk of Punk” EP artwork.
Recommended for fans of ’90s-inspired indie rock, and moments of bands such as Built to Spill and Jawbreaker, in addition to more recent, contemporary bands like Car Seat Headrest and (Sandy) Alex G.
Jon E. Lynch[email protected]