Goon Sax

Brisbane teenagers The Goon Sax are three songs into their debut album pre-release roll-out and there’s no let up in the simple perfect brilliance of their wryly-observed and playful pop song-craft – as demonstrated here by “Boyfriend”.

When The Goon Sax name first popped up last year I listened because they were on Chapter Music (The Stevens, Twerps, Dick Diver etc.). They sounded like the perfect and charming combination of a bit of naive pop reminiscent of the earliest Pastels, blended with that peculiarly Australian minimalist strum-pop of label mates Twerps.

But there was also a throw-back to the simple rhythm guitar/ bass/ lead guitar and vocal stylings of The Go-Betweens in their earliest form, circa “Send Me A Lullabye” or the Missing Link/ Postcard Records single.

Turns out there’s more than just a stylistic connection to the aforementioned Go-Betweens, but that genetic link shouldn’t be a factor in determining the worthiness of The Goon Sax or their debut album.

The three tracks so far indicate not just the rare talent for wry observational pop music with simple but memorable arrangements. They also show an unusual confidence in singing about stuff that teenagers would normally avoid sharing publicly and presenting themselves as coolly ‘uncool’ and almost celebrating their awkwardness. That was also one of the features of that early 80’s Glasgow scene with Orange Juice and The Pastels risking ridicule by establishing themselves as outsiders in an otherwise macho culture. Which was also why those bookish Aussies The Go-Betweens fitted in so well in Glasgow back in 1980.

The album “Up To Anything” is released on Friday (11 March) on Chapter Music – a Melbourne label with a 24 year history of releasing music from the fringes of Australian music culture. Here’s the video for the song too.

 

 

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