The Goodwill – Forgotten Feeling

The Goodwill
Forgotten Feeling

The Goodwill remind me of a lot of bands that I don’t want to like. Upbeat pop-punk suitable for the current crop of teen-movie soundtracks …lyrics about growing up, falling in and out of love, etc. You know, those ‘guilty pleasures’ that you don’t turn off when they come on some mix tape somebody made you: Green Day, Saves the Day, pick your poison. The phenomenon stems from a couple of hidden assumptions that most of us would not like to admit – namely, that all music is derivative to some degree, and therefore originality is not always as moving, at least on a visceral level as a good tune. That said, I’ll now return to listening only to bands who sing in a made-up language, play instruments of their own design that don’t conform to western harmonics, and live on a subsistence diet of that genetically modified goat milk that contains genes for the spider proteins that secrete web-silk.

“Forgotten Feeling” starts off with a syncopated, almost baroque guitar melody, which leads in to the verse which leaves space for the bass-guitar to do a repeated climb over the drum beat … this is interspersed with some time changes that let the music swing a little more in double or half time. The vocals are forward and confident. I admire Brian’s ability to sing without any distracting affectations in his voice. No bad British accents here. The back-up vocals are impressive as well in that they really add a soaring level of harmony over everything without drawing to much attention to the individual voices. Similar bands often make the mistake of using back-up vocals just to increase the overall volume (as if this were somehow a measure of sincerity). The chorus seems to get bigger each time we reach it, not just with added layers, but with a palpable increase in energy. You can feel the musicians grit their teeth and jump around.

Sometimes a little happy music can be cleansing. I’m not sure that it is a good thing, but The Goodwill are certainly the perfect antidote to tear you out of the mood induced by listening to all the Joy Division LPs back to back in candlelight. For some reason, I’m imagining Ed Sullivan introducing this band … “and now vweeve got a’ great li’ll number ffrom Long Island … ah-these boys have got PEP.” You may want to ridicule them, ignore them …but damn it their melodies absolutely sing, and their energy is undeniable. Bow down and praise the power of pop. Oh, by the way, they have a fan club (shhhhh!).