Hugging in bars and punching holes in guitars, Adelaide party folk punkers The Brothers Goon have had a busy year in 2016, taking to stages around the country in chaotically entertaining fashion, as well as releasing their sophomore EP Make Regrets, full of perfect songs to spill beer on your mates to.
With a sound reminiscent of early Against Me!, The Brothers Goon combine punchy acoustic rhythms with wailing guitar hooks, as well as multiple vocal lines, to create their own catchy brand of self-described “Sad-Angry Party Music”. Sharing the majority of the singing duties, guitarists Jake Ward and Lachy Bruce weave incredibly interesting, perfectly imperfect vocal melodies throughout the EP with voices that, while differing greatly in textural quality, work to complement each other resoundingly well. Between Jake’s ferocious guttural growl, and Lachy’s profoundly earnest wailing, the band delivers highly relatable and surprisingly thought-provoking lyrics about mental health, boozing, relationships, self-loathing and self-discovery.
From expressing Lao Tzu style ideas in the opening track Stacks, which passes commentary on depression stemming from living nostalgically in the past and anxiety from an unshakeable worry about the future, to the clever humour of Jake’s self-deprecating love song Pint Glass, which boasts such classic lines as “with a face that’s so fucked up even my hairline retreats”, Make Regrets is beautifully well rounded in its lyrical content, coming across as both thoughtful and jocular.
Standouts on the EP include Point Oh Fuck, a perfect example of the bands impressive multi-vocal style with Lachy and Jake trading off their singing to one another seamlessly throughout the verses, and bass player Dan powerfully underpinning the choruses with his bellowing voice. As well as the track Joker, a response to the band’s earlier song Batman, which sees them take a different, more sympathetic, spin on the DC villain who ultimately views Batman as just as mad as himself. Seemingly an analogy for Jake’s own feelings of madness brought about by big bender weekends and the comedown that follows, the song begins sparsely with lone vocals and slinkily weaves instruments and voices in ever-changing dynamics throughout its journey towards an eventual key change and chaotic climax.
As enjoyable a record as Make Regrets is, The Brothers Goon are a drop best served live, and I implore you to do just that. As such here is a quick list of things to expect their shows:
- Broken shit: Whether it be a drum skin, acoustic guitar, jug of beer or Jake’s hand, at some point something’s getting broken on stage.
- Spilled beer: There’s no point crying about it, but you’ll probably get a little damp; embrace the foamy wetness and dance yourself dry.
- Stage takeover: Being the delightfully approachable, fun-loving, and generous guys that they are, at some point The Brothers Goon will probably invite the entire crowd on stage to share in the limelight.
Written By Todd Fogarty
Photos By Emily Newbold (taken at Not Fest 2016)