Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Album Review: Bad Times Don’t Last by Goalkeeper (by Emma Prew)

Goalkeeper are a pop punk trio from Philadelphia/South Jersey who describe themselves as being stuck in the 2000s. After seeing them (and their shark artwork) pop up on my ‘Discover Weekly’ on Spotify, I decided to give their November 2018 EP, Bad Times Don’t Last, a listen.

Sunshine is the first song of Bad Times Don’t Last and after a fade-in intro we are hit with a slice of Blink-182-inspired pop punk – I can certainly hear what they mean about being stuck in the noughties. Despite the obvious comparisons, Sunshine is a super cheery punk song in its own right. The track is an optimistic one about knowing that things will be alright, particularly knowing that you’re waiting for that special someone to come home. I admit that lines like ‘You’re my sunshine on a cloudy day.’ are pretty cheesy but they still make me smile. Pounding drums and crashing guitars open up the next song, Chances. We soon learn that, in contrast to the first, this song isn’t quite so positive in its outlook. Chances is a plea to someone, presumably a former significant other, to take you back – and give you another chance. It’s not all self-deprecating however as towards the end of the song, it turns out that it was probably for the best anyway as life isn’t so bad without them – I do love a plot twist. ‘Today I have some new friends, a good job and a life, I learned to live without you and it's turning out alright. Life’s too short to be looking into the rear view, I’m speeding towards the future whether or not that includes you.

I was quite surprised when the third song, Lately, kicked off with an acoustic guitar. In fact, the whole song is acoustic. The lyrics are still in a pop punk vein but the acoustic nature reminded me of Garrett Dale (of Red City Radio) – except much less gruff. Lately is an honest and nostalgic song, admitting that you do care about someone who was important to you not being in your life anymore. I enjoyed the change of pace and tone that came from an acoustic tune but equally welcomed the volume and intensity that returns for the penultimate song of the EP. Left Lane feels more bitter and rage-driven than the previous songs on offer and I love this side of Goalkeeper. The song reflects on a particular person in your past who you now know wasn’t good for you. The highlight of the track has to be its chorus that would make for an excellent singalong – ‘Don’t be surprised if your life starts falling apart, I tried my best but my guess is you can’t start, I can’t let it bother me.’ Bringing the EP to a close is an additional Blink-style pop punk banger in the form of Nothing At All. Another of the optimistic variety, this is a bouncy and fast paced tune that vows to put you in a good mood. The final refrain really sums it all up – ‘If I fall down I’ll get up again, I’ll make mistakes but I’ll own up to them, If I let go then I’ll be free, Nothing's stopping me, Nothing at all.’

You can stream and download Bad Time Don’t Last on Bandcamp now and find Goalkeeper on Facebook too.

This review was written by Emma Prew.

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