8 September 2013

Goldfinger - Hang Ups


I have stated before in blogs in the past that a song does not make an album - this sentiment is true, in most cases, unless the album is one 60 minute track, then it might be different.  However, one song does not make the album indispensible, but it can get you interested in listening to an album.  Which bring me onto the second release by Goldfinger released in 1997.  Formed in 1994 in Los Angeles, California, USA, Goldfinger mainly deal in the sunnier side of punk and on this album they were also indulging in their ska tendencies.  The song in question is called "Superman", but I will get onto that song later.  Before going into the album, I have a few more things to say.  Firstly, that is possibly one of the worst covers I have ever seen, I get the concept; but what fucking moron makes a noose on the cover.  Up there with heron needles, dead kittens and people searching for food in dirt - I am a fan of artwork that pushes the envelope, as a guy who knows people who have depressive tendencies this one just looks childish and dumb. I would not for one minute get the band to change it, just not something I care for - rant over. Second, I have seen this band live and I have to say I have never seen a more polished punk band ever, and I mean this in a good way - honestly I was blown away and afterwards the band were all approachable and promoted their own causes like helping stop animal cruelty, making the world a better place and partying in the case of the drummer.  With that said, I cannot honest remember listening to an album by these guys all the way through - I have no idea why, I just sort of drift at the fifth song for some reason.  So here goes, can this be the album that breaks that duck - even with a shite cover.

The album starts with the aforementioned "Superman" - one of the most fun ska/pop punks to have ever graced my iPod/music set lists.  It is so simple and innocent, a lament to growing up and not being in control but with all the illusions of having some sort of grip on the world.  Sometimes starting with an incredibly strong song can be a curse to an album.  However, it can also get the big moment out of the way and makes the rest of the album easy to follow.  This album sort of falls into both categories - the rest of the album goes between serious statements of love ("If Only"), little trips down memory lane ("This Lonely Place"), getting sick of your own voice and self ("Disorder") and not wanting to rock the boat ("Authority") - with all the songs being done with a happy go-lucky sense of timing, brass sections, throw-away punk riffs and an uncanny knack of making the listener either want to dance, or in the case of Chris Jermyn to cause second degree murder.

But for all the bravado and fun (which there is a lot of on here - no matter what Jerm says), it is like quite a few ska/pop punk albums.  It is not hardly the most essential work that has ever been released in the world, in fact (according to a few people I have talked to - have to take their words for it at the moment), it is not even the best album they have done.  This is sort of like a base camp; it is setting out the stalls, breaking in the ground, making people aware and statements of that nature. But even in the ska/pop punk field it is hardly even beyond average for the genre - apart from "Superman" which gives this album a few more brownie points to be honest.  Not sure how to end this one to be honest, but this album is so sort of "ok I guess" that it feels a bit of a waste.  To quote Monty Python - they got better.  And I still hate that fucking cover.....


4 out of ten - Well it is alright, but still.....

You can purchase the album from Amazon here


You can visit the official Goldfinger website 

You can listen to the album on Spotify here 

Here is a live version of "Superman" - sadly without a brass section......


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