The Goon Sax make music that sounds a whole lot like 1996. I say that by way of offering a compliment, really. The band is set to drop their second album, We're Not Talking, this Friday on Wicita Recordings, and the release features so many passages that are reminiscent of the glory days of alt-rock that anyone even close to my age bracket should love this one as much as I do.
Opener "Make Time 4 Love" drips with a sort of lazy collegiate charm, while "Losing Myself" sees the boy-girl vocals serve as enticements to the brand of smart pop contained within. Melodic and richly tuneful, the music of The Goon Sax is also unhurried and a bit hazy, even on a spry cut like "A Few Times Too Many" or the ramshackle "Get Out", early NZ rock riffs peeking through those of this Aussie trio. So much of what's on We're Not Talking has a similar kind of appeal, equal parts Pavement and Beat Happening, for instance, jumbled up with enough bright hooks that one can guess that there's a Clean album or two in this lot's record cabinet. These 3 young Australian musicians -- Louis Forster, Riley Jones, and James Harrison -- have mined a quarter-century's worth of indie rock and managed to still make something strikingly unique here, no mean feat considering that Forster's dad was in The Go-Betweens. We're Not Talking feels familiar in spots, and yet it's fresh enough that it still surprises with its brief, direct flashes of creative spark.
We're Not Talking is out on Wichita Recordings this Friday.
More details on The Goon Sax via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Ben O'Connor]