Up to Anything by The Goon Sax (Chapter Music)
The trio of Brisbane teenagers who perform as The Goon Sax released their debut album, Up To Anything, on March 11. Signed on the basis of an unsolicited demo, the group has created a sound integrating indie pop with lyrical storytelling.
It is tempting to quote from the opening track, “Up To Anything,” and say “I’m running out of patience/I’ve heard this all before,” but such an assessment would be unfair to the band.
Though there’s a fairly consistent sound in each track, they almost seem to feature unique vocalists, as the delivery and intonation shift to vanish the singer into a specific character. As a result, each song seems fresh—its own little vignette in the band’s tapestry of an album.
Despite the band’s focus on teenage loneliness and concerns about romance, there is no indulgence in the navel-gazing or wallowing one might expect. Instead, understated, self-aware humor like “Couldn’t work at Target/The only shirt I own is blue” from “Target,” keeps the album from being bogged down with self-importance.
This doesn’t prevent them from addressing serious issues, but the moments of levity create room where sadder content can exist without coming across as melodramatic. Whatever angst they have seems genuine, not manufactured.
Despite their youth, The Goon Sax comes across as a surprisingly mature band who can maintain a high level of quality throughout their debut album. There have been plenty of coming-of-age stories before, but with alternately joking and melancholy lyrics, Up To Anything is far from trying listeners’ patience.