Maybe I’m a sucker for riffs, but once I got comfortable with The GoodBars’ new album and gave it its second play-through, the riffs struck their hooks and had me on the line like a fish. I found it hard to keep from bobbing my head along in rather aggressive fashion, looking at my computer screen while in my bedroom, thinking “What was I doing? I should be at the show!”
Truth of the matter is, I’ve seen The GoodBars play here in St. Cloud twice in the dingy yet cozy basement that is The Keller Bar. The group falls into the local music category, playing the majority of its shows in the Minneapolis area, but occasionally branching out to surrounding areas. The atmosphere of the Keller Bar when they played was one of revived classic bumping rock and roll that anyone with an American heartbeat can appreciate if not thoroughly enjoy. The GoodBars are for those especially interested in the old school punk rock feel. Think if Motorhead’s little cousin was in Black Flag and they let him play along with the band now and then, singing about all-around badass-ery of parties, smokeable goods, and the high likelihood of going to hell for it.
In fact, the album opens with a disclaimer that the band is going to hell with the aptly named song “Straight to Hell”, a smack to the face that I couldn’t get enough of for the song’s entire two-minute duration. I also found myself enjoying the cleverly named “Camarojuana”, a song dedicated to the kids who preferred sketchy activities in parking lots over textbook readings during the high school era. “Dust and Evil” has a very Foghat or Zz Top feel to it, with some classy background “Oos” in combination with a fuzzy blues guitar part.
Frontman RJ Lubrant (credited with the lead/backing vocals and talent) commands the microphone, telling stories and singing anthems, introducing us to the first EP released by the group, keeping you interested from hello to goodbye. Guitarists Michael Rumore and Clinton Maxon (who seems to be a fan of Sailor Jerry’s rum) supply the riffs that keep you chugging along with interest while Bart Klassen (“beats n bong hits”) absolutely pummels the hell out of his drumset. I’ve seen him beat that thing in person. He is not very affectionate towards the cymbals.
The album has a high quality sound to it for a local band. It felt like I was listening to a major label release rather than from local producer Michael Rumore that I’ve never even heard of before. Props for the recording quality.
To listen to their tracks, visit www.thegoodbars.com or their facebook page. You can also buy the album for $10 through PayPal or through contacting the band directly on their facebook page. The Goodbars’ next live show will be in Mayslacks, a bar in Minneapolis, on Feb. 16. The next time the group is scheduled to be in St. Cloud is March 2nd at the thoroughly rock and roll Wreck Center (for directions, ask your local punk friends). I suggest you check them out. For music in general I’d give this album an 8/10. For local music I’d give it a 10/10. Stay rockin’, my friends.