Appealing music sounds familiar but at the same time offers something new – uncertainty and surprise should not deviate too much from expectations. Toronto four-piece Goodbye Honolulu understands that principle very well. Emmett S Webb (vocals, guitar, bass), Jacob Switzer (vocals, guitar, bass, hand claps), Fox Martindale (vocals, guitar, organ), and Max Bornstein (vocals, drums, drum machine, percussion, hand claps) -four individual songwriters and three frontmen – never stick to one sound: on your ibingo card with influences you can check off garage rock, new wave, power-pop, glam, and electronic music. After three EPs, More Honey (2018), No Honey (2017) and Heavy Gold (2016; one of my favorites at the time), they have now released their self-titled full-length debut album, described by the band as their “dream record” – 13 original songs with a perfect balance between familiar and surprising. For example, the intro to Over and Over is somewhat reminiscent of Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive, and Get the Denim echoes The Specials’ Little Bitch (aka The Dandy Warhols’ Bohemian Like You), but before you can imagine the accompanying lyrics, Goodbye Honolulu has already made it its own. Anyway, this is a successful eclectic mix of catchy songs with strong riffs. Bingo!
“You gotta tell me how to make things right // But don’t teach me how to live my life // I don’t wanna save my soul // All I know is rock ‘n’ roll”
Goodbye Honolulu is out now through Stray Dog Records. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp