Simple, no-nonsense production provides enjoyment
Good Mourning is the debut album of recently formed Swedish group The Goners, a collaboration between members of stoner metal group Salem’s Pot and pop-focused group Yvonne. The release of the album follows the explosion of contemporary metal and hard rock in Sweden, and the result of this collaboration is no less exciting. The album is filled with expert instrumentation and clever arrangements, but what makes it most entertaining is its lo-fi, simple production that gives the album a grungy, unfiltered and classic sound. Bands of similar genres, whose production is ultra-polished, over-produced and laden with unnecessary frills, generally miss this intriguing stylistic pocket completely. Simplicity is an important element of many artistic endeavors, and The Goners do what they do sharply, confidently and in a way that is reminiscent of the past but still inspired by the present.
Good Mourning brings multiple genres under one refreshingly coherent umbrella. It contains unmistakable elements of punk, metal, hard rock and more, centering around playful but aggressive guitar riffs, with a distorted medley of vocals and punishing percussion. So many groups come to mind when deciphering the influences and reminiscent sounds of this album. The punk elements strongly resemble that of The Sex Pistols, particularly in terms of vocals. The vocals are less on the nose than Johnny Rotten’s blunt and boisterous melodies, but they certainly contain the same vigor and aggravation present on Nevermind the Bollocks. The combination of hard rock and metal elements can best be described as a fusion of the energy and loudness of the White Stripes combined with the impeccable timing of AC/DC. The sounds of Good Mourning are also undeniably reminiscent to that of The Hives: brash and action-packed but transcendentally satisfying.
Opening track, “Are You Gone Yet?,” gets the party started early and stands out as a definitive highlight of the album. The track is filled with energetic, Dead Kennedys-esque riffs, unforgiving percussion and frustrated vocals, and it serves as a fitting kick-off to an album that is decidedly fun. Another high point comes in the form of third track “World of Decay,” a song that possesses both the tenacity of punk and the skillful playing of rock greats. The musical timing and the layering of instrumentation is impeccable, making for a track that is truly wonderful.
The Goners slow down a bit on tracks like “Good Ol’ Death,” once again displaying a promising ability to combine thoughtful lyrics and soulful instrumentals. The punk vibe of “The Little Blue” combines with bluesy guitar elements to create a fun and engaging tune that adds a special element to the track’s individuality. All in all, Good Mourning possesses a monochromatic punk production style, but the respective tracks contain clever tweaks and different elements which distinguish each track from the others. It makes the album’s tracks sound similar and distinct at the same time, a successful feat for a band attempting to find and establish their own sound. Simply put, The Goners have provided an album that is enjoyable in every respect and will surely leave listeners excited for what is next.