I’d Rather Not
Punk guitar legend Greg Ginn (Black Flag, Gone) has come together with professional skateboarder and vocalist Mike Vallely (Mike V. and the Rats) to form Good for You, an abrasive high-energy, bare-bones grungy-punk duo, and has just released its debut record, Life is Too Short to Not Hold a Grudge. It’s not the best thing we could have seen coming from a member of one of the most influential and well-known punk bands in the world, though most of it has to do with the weak vocals. Consistently throughout the album, Ginn lays down great, catchy guitar riffs, but Mike V’s try-too-hard mediocre garage-band screaming leaves the listener wanting for something genuinely heavy.
Grudge starts out strong with the track “I’d Rather Die,” opening with bluesy guitars that are, while a bit of a misleading indication of what the rest of the album is going to sound like, a heavy and intriguing start. Mike V’s vocals set the aggressive, ugly and disjointed tone that follows through the rest of the record. There are some great tracks on the album though where Greg Ginn’s serious guitar talent shines through, like “Free,” a heavy, groovy example of the potential of the duo. Another prime example of what the rest of this album could, and maybe should sound like is “Stupid Me” which features Mike V singing more cleanly, which fits the guitars much better.
Save a few scattered solid tracks, Grudge ends up coming off as nothing too special, rather repetitive and boring, and not worth much of a second listen. There is a lot of space for Good for You to improve, find a better fit for their sound, and meet the potential of the musicians but as it stands now, you’d do better to look to Off! for an example of the type of quality heavy music other members of Black Flag have been doing.