Hang-Ups (Mojo Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Goldfinger is back with another dose of their poppy-punk with doses of ska thrown in. More songs about relationships, being dumped, and various other subjects everyone can relate too.
Hang-Ups starts off with "Superman." Previously available on the "Teen Beef" split 7" with Reel Big Fish. It starts off with a very skankable rhythm, horns blaring in the background, and then the vocals enter. John Feldmann's vocals are very distinct, and they sound great. You can hear sympathy in his sort-of rough, softer spoken, punk snarled voice. As the song goes on the chorus will hit you like a ton off bricks. A nice poppy beat sure to attract anyone to this song. The horns come in and add some nice texture to the background. The guitars will get you dancing throughout, and your feet will be very happy. The drums keep a pounding sensation to the song, which adds a nice emphasis to everything in the music. The bass pulls everything together, and adds a lot of depth to the song. "If Only" is a pop-punk infectious piece of work about a guy who wonders "If Only" he had these things, would she love him? The song is very soft and carries a lot of emotion. And the vocals even bring out more emotion. At first the lyrics sound like any high school kid could write them, but after several more listens you realize that only Goldfinger could pull off a song with down to earth lyrics like this and still keep an emotional edge. "If only I was eighteen and had the courage of the A-Team/maybe then you'd be with me?" is a sample of the lyrics. Nothing greatly artistic or poetic about them, but if you think about them they do the job Goldfinger is trying to get across quite well. They let the listener inside their head, and let them experience some of their heartbreak. The emotion of this song is the key, and after only one listen of this track the emotional side of the song, or the catchy pop tunes will eat you alive. "Question" is a fast, head on attack of punk rock. It starts out with just vocals and guitars screaming, but then the drummer pounds fiercely onto his drums skin, and then the song jumps into full bloom. The punk attacks you like a madman, and the intricate pop hooks will give you a sense of security, and then BAM! The fury of the song comes back and hits you on the back of the head, knocking you to the floor. "Disorder" is another pop-punk gem sure to make you smile. A very infectious song about falling down and trying to get up after every let down. Not only is the chorus infectious enough to hook you after only one listen, the versus are just as infectious. And that's hard to do in a pop song. "I Need To Know" starts out with some very soft, relaxing ska beats. Then it picks up with some ska that will get your itching toes dancing and enjoying yourself in no time. The occasional horns add a warm feeling to the song that goes straight to your heart. "Skiers Must Parish" is a pure hardcore song. It starts out with some horn work and soft beats, but it doesn't last long. It jumps into a very hard, angry song about Skiers vs. Snowboarders. This song is ten times different than anything Goldfinger has ever done, and I really didn't welcome it with welcome arms. It was just garbage to me. Maybe a hidden track? Sure, I'll give them that. But not as a regular track. "Chris Cayton," my favorite track, ends the CD. A pop-ska-punk tune that will get you skankin' in some parts, and slamming in others. Another song that could have been written by high school kids, but not in this fashion. Only Goldfinger could turn high school lyrics into a very infectious song that will give you a smile, and force you to dance. There is some hidden stuff, but you'll have to experience it for yourself!
Goldfinger is back. Infectious as ever. If you liked their first album, this album will blow you away! Although this album is lighter and a bit poppier than their last, it's sure to win over the hearts of many. I highly recommend this CD. A definite A.
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