Thursday, September 8, 2022

Album Review: Good Looks - Bummer Year

Good Looks
Bummer Year
**and1/2 out of *****

The debut release of the Austin, TX based Good Looks is a throwback to classic/indie rocking ways of the mid 80's and early 90's. Bummer Year uses shimmering guitars and yearning vocals to deliver a warm sound through the speakers singing about everything from loneliness to Republican voters. 

The band, Tyler Jordan - Rhythm Guitar and Lead Vocals, Jake Ames - Lead Guitar, Anastasia Wright - Bass Guitar, Phillip Dunne - Drums, Paige Renee Berry - Back-up Vocals, have an easy rolling feel to it throughout the seven tracks. 

The minimal guitar strums and slow building opener "Always Automatic" recalls a Tom Petty with twang feeling as the group gel before the understated start of "21" incorporates rumbling drums leading towards a soaring finale. The band flashes some serious The War On Drugs love with the swelling FM sounds of "Balmorhea" as those mid 80's radio friendly vibes will make Adam Granduciel smile. 

Things are extremely muddied lyrically on the title track which is a very Texas focused number about good hearted Trump voters who will get your back in a bar fight, fireworks on the beach and distorted beliefs. It is a weird twist on the "can't we all get along" hippy vibe of bygone eras before talking about not voting because the rich have it all and instead starting revolution in the streets; conflicted verse to verse, but at least it has pretty guitar sounds. The gorgeous backing vocals and George Harrison-like guitar twinkling of the shiny "First Crossing" is much better, but it is on the final two closers where the band seem most comfortable.   

Both of the final two songs call to mind mid-career Replacements efforts as "Vision Board" chokes with a thick fuzzy bass and light punk appeal before the upbeat rocking of closer "Walker Lake" which wraps up with some of the best guitar work contained on the album. Good Looks have their influences out front and center on their debut Bummer Year, singing their retro rocking tunes from their sunny Texas porch with ease.     
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

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