The Goon Sax
By Robin Ecoeur
The group’s stripped-down sound invites inevitable comparisons with Galaxie 500 and The Velvet Underground. But Australian trio The Goon Sax have created a new timeless sound. Dive into Up To Anything, a subtle and slow burning album, whose secrets are not all immediately revealed.
The Goon Sax formed in 2013 when 90’s Rock was a major factor in the Indie music scene. But the sound these three popsters produce is completely at odds with the fuzzed-up power of their peers. Their signature song is called Telephone, and the way the bass rings cannot not remind you of Galaxie 500.
The track is about being fed up with telephone and feeling like we are all somehow "connected". The other stand out track is Boyfriend, which reminds us, lyrically, of Girls' classic Lust For Life. The song is such a simple Pop song, with simple chord structures and riffs that a beginner could play within a few minutes. But the music offers something much more than this. It's timeless, with a laconic groove that’s perfect for chilling out on a hot summers day. Add melodic, shimmery guitars drenched in a gauzy reverb, and top it off with languid "just got out of bed" vocals; and there you have The Goon Sax’s sound.
It’s easy to slowly sway along to the delicate grooves, and the album retains a charmingly modest ambiance, even when the band turns up the volume or speeds up the tempo. The "less-is-more" atmosphere and rough-around-the-edges elegance marks everything The Goon Sax do, creating endless depth of sounds and nuances, and therefore, winning our hearts, almost too easily.
"I don't think I will be optimistic enough to say maybe we will be rediscovered and regarded as ahead of our time in 20 years"
Notably, The Goon Sax offer an impressive disconnection between their slow paced music, sprawling consistency and their age. They are teens but play like they have been pros for ages. Yes, most of the songs follow the same arc, building dynamically throughout, with James' backing vocals sometimes emerging out of the blue from the mix. And though most songs have a three chord structure focusing on typical youthful, innocent lyrics about break ups and love, in essence this is one of those albums where you can just press play and enjoy the whole thing.