Monday, April 25, 2011

Self-Titled Debut Is All My Goodness

My GoodnessPick a series of a few chords inside any one of their songs and it's clear that Seattle hasn't lost any of its edge in the American music scene. The duo that makes up the band My Goodness is one of the best new finds on the indie circuit, fusing blues, punk, and rock into an urgently course and undressed sound that makes you want more.

Their new self-titled LP from the boutique label Sarathan Records, My Goodness, has everything going for it. The music is more complex than the Black Keys, with guitarist Joel Schneider delivering up unfettered vocals and a relentless guitar.

Drummer Ethan Jacobsen lays down a richly aggressive percussion to keep the songs together. Together, they're brilliant.

In fact, it's almost hard to believe that Schneider was once considered quiet and introverted by his choir teacher at the progressive International School in Bellevue. It's even harder to believe that his conservative upbringing restricted him from pop music.

From a shy choir tenor to a sizzling post-punk indie rocker.

That all changed when Schneider's choir instructor encouraged him to enter a jazz festival competition. He took first prize. Nine years later, he decided to team up with Jacobsen as a side project from his other electrifying band, The Absolute Monarchs. The result of this partnership is something to watch.

The music video is produced by upstart filmmaker John Meyer. Meyer produced the video by lining up almost a dozen cameras with various lenses, attempting to create a progressive video while retaining Schneider's vision for rawness. The song was shot in its entirety, requiring several takes to get it right.

"His [Meyer's] mom used to babysit me when I was 4 or 5 years old, maybe even younger," Schneider said in a recent interview. "My first memories were at his house."

The impossibility of one clean take wasn't limited to a single music video. The self-titled album was produced entirely on analog tape under the guidance of engineer Chris Common at Red Rooms Studio in Seattle. Analog produces a warmer, richer sound but makes it nearly impossible to cut, paste and move arrangements around.

The net gain is a live feel that Schneider says he wouldn't do any other way. In addition to I've Got A Notion, almost every track represents the freedom that Schneider and Jacobsen say they haven't had a chance to produce in their other bands, which is also how they came up with the name. My Goodness is all the goodness without an outlet.

Other standout drivers off the ten-track album include the opener Blackout Baby, the hard hitting and bluesy C'mon Doll, the fluid Let Me Free, and the angry Better Call Your Mother. The last track, Lost In The Soul, is an out-of-place but pleasant acoustic singer-songwriter track that suggests My Goodness has a tremendous range to tap for a long time to come.

The Self-Titled Debut By My Goodness Hits Hard With A 9.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Some consumer reviews are claiming this is the album of a band you'll want to say you knew them when. Sarathan Records might agree, given the boutique label says it knew it would sign them halfway into the second song during a live performance. There isn't much to argue about. It sets the bar for the best debut album out this year.

My Goodness has become hard to find, but the self-titled debut is still listed at Barnes & Noble. Schneider and Jacobsen say they are anxious to get on the road to share the album. Most of the songs sound like they have jam sessions built in, even if they are surprisingly tight in their structuring.
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