Friday, February 10, 2012

Music Reviews: Goin' Places - "Relationship Sneakers"

Remember when punk rock WASN'T about going to Hot Topic for nut hugger skinny jeans and fruity emo haircuts? When it was all about being who we are instead of trying to be something you're not? It pretty much started with the Ramones in the 70s and ended with them in '97. Sure, there have been the occasional exception to the rule. But mostly it's been all about fashion and bandwagon jumping since. Now there's a band who coming out of retirement to bring it all back t where it should have stayed all along....on the streets!

Goin' Places started out in 2000 and were one of those bands who didn't do what was expected in order to make a quick buck riding the punk rock bandwagon that was oh so popular at that time. They were students of old school pop punk. They liked the Ramones, but also followed bands like The Queers, Mr. T Experience and Screeching Weasel. They released one record ("Girl Songwriting 101") in 2002, toured shortly and dropped out of the scene to get real jobs. But they never gave up the dream of one day making music again on their own terms. And NOW is that time!

"Relationship Sneakers" (Bright & Borrow Records) is 15 catchy gems in the style of all things pop punk. This album could have come out in the early 90s and been neck and neck with "Love Songs For The Retarded" and "Wiggle". It's just a fun record. "Be With Me" is a cool tune about being just friends with a girl who you really dig, only to get drunk and spill the beans and find out she doesn't feel the same way. We've been there. And that's why I can identify with this track. So good! Throw in a wicked keyboard solo in the vein of "Let's Dance" by the Ramones, and you have instant classic stamped all over it!

"Tongue Tied", "Bedroom Window" and "Relationship Sneakers" all have some really kick ass harmonies and will have you hooked in seconds. There is just so much going on with this band, musically and lyrically, and it's all brought together in a sunny fun way. The band. Richie (guitar/vocals), Victor (drums/vocals) and Frank (bass) write and play songs that will make you remember why we love pop punk in the first place. They take you away from all your problems and bring you to a place filled with harmony, good times and fun!

"Just Another Girl Song" could have been on the Queers classic album "Don't Back Down" and "Goin' Places" is as close to a Ramones classic as we're gonna get. But they do it with dignity and respect for the bands who have inspired them. They don't rip off as much as pay tribute to the greats of the past and present.

"I Love You Girl" is damn close to being the best tune on the record. It's pretty much an instrumental, besides the "Oh oh oh" sing along and the title track said only once at the very end. "Gum Would Be Perfection" IS a full instrumental track but it's done so well that the music sings it's self without words. You have to hear it to really get what I'm saying.

The album closes with a tribute to our fallen hero's, Joey Johnny and Dee, as well as the Ramones as a band! There have been tribute tunes in the past. But none that can hold a candle to this track. We'll never forget what they gave us and what they continue to do even after 15 years away. There's also a hidden track that comes in at around the 14 minute mark that you need to hear. If your sensitive to foul language
you may wanna skip the hidden track altogether. But all in all this is a great album. And I'm glad to have this band back after being away for so long.

4 ½ / 5 stars

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