The 4-piece (Currently consisting of Bret NeLson on vocals and bass, drummer Jonah NeLson, guitarist Craig Macomb, with Edward Dunn on synths and backing vocals) initially came to be in 2015 when they released their initial demo “Animals”, but five years later, they’ve released their newest collection entitled “Goodbye Sun Hello Moon” via Hi Fi Mantra Records. Are these nocturnal creatures? Do they prefer THE BRAVERY’s remixes? Is Lunala their favourite legendary Pokemon? I doubt any of these will be answered as we hit the play button.
The album opens up with “Never Been Never Become” and by that principle, in the same vein, I never cared, never will. OK that’s not strictly true, I am at least listening to it after all…anyway, the track initially opens with a launch sequence countdown you may hear in some black & white science fiction movie, allowing the listener to expect something intense, dramatic and fiery once the track kicks in. Sadly however, when it does get going, it’s about as underwhelming as the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster; all the build-up, to essentially just, fail…hard. It’s blend of soft vocals and melodic alt. indie in ways likens it to maybe DIIV or THE CURE but that’s giving it too much praise.
Promotional track “Midwinter” which is then somewhat mellower in overall tone, does continue with the same style of melodic, indie-pop that while admittedly harmless and inoffensive, fails to really encourage the listeners investment; it’s so safe. Granted, it doesn’t have the anti-climactic countdown shitting on it, so it’s got that going for it at least, but it’s still run of the mill. Things do however pick up on “Translation Lost”, which houses a hungrier sense of instrumentation; there’s more of an edge here and even though subtle, you can pick up on certain early post-punk stylistic influences filtering through. More up-tempo and ultimately more enjoyable, this is much better. “CHD” too can be appreciated for its more up-tempo delivery, in ways more frenetic too. Purely instrumental, it bridges a gap between surf-rock, post-punk and early synth-wave for a fun little burst of energy…ironic really as CHD is essentially Coronary Heart Disease…I mean, let’s be honest, narrow arteries are TIGHT!
The rest of the album, well I’m afraid all four tracks of it fail to inspire or excite. From the title track, all the way through to closing track “So Strange”, we’re subject to more of the safest, least imaginative and repetitive blend of light melodic indie there is to ingest. Of course the songs all sound fine with their easy listening aesthetic, they don’t sound BAD per se, but there is very, VERY little to distinguish these tracks from each other and the end result is half an hour of monotony. The instrumental tone barely changes, the vocals barely change if at all…they honestly come across as the gentle indie-pop equivalent of AC/DC here, because this all sounds the same. Sure it’s a decently produced record as a whole, but quite frankly, Goodbye Sick Wish, Hello whatever album I’m going to review next…you didn’t convince me lads, Idaho still sucks apparently.