Wednesday January 13, 2021, at 10:25 PM. That was the moment I discovered The Goa Express. The young five-piece from Northern England played at the Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) showcase festival – an online edition due to a certain lockdown – and although their performance lasted less than thirteen minutes, it was the indisputable highlight for me. A few singles have been released since then, but it has been a long wait for the self-titled full-length album, which has now finally arrived (they say themselves that it not only captures their long lasting friendship together, but also a universal and shared feeling of growing up – hence the cover art). The band, featuring James Douglas Clarke alongside his brother Joe and best friends Joey Stein, Naham Muzaffar and Sam Launder, has only become closer and better through many, many hours of playing together over the last ten years. They deliver a dynamic mix of indie and garage rock – influences from Oasis meet those of The Strokes – that is gripping and inspired. The ten songs here (none from the ESNS show) are guitar-driven, with unstoppable melodies and charismatic vocals with a ragged edge. More than a few earworms, the best thing I never had.
The album isn’t on Bandcamp or Soundcloud in full yet, and I don’t like Spotify embeds, so I’ll leave you here with two of their videos – you can listen to the whole thing on all streaming services.
The Goa Express’ self-titled album is out now on vinyl LP (self-released).
Add to wantlist: The Goa Express