For every band that tries and fails to capitalize on the vitriol and raw nerve revelations of classic punk rock bands, there is maybe one that succeeds in marrying their influence and experience in such a way that the resulting sounds don’t feel forced, but possess a natural and serrated punk purpose. For Good Parenting, a band making punk rock that seems to be held together with duct tape and sweat, these viscous and vicious rhythms are more than lazy throwbacks to the work done in previous decades. They’re charged musical particles living in a vital and necessary atmosphere of continual rock revolution.
On their new record, “Hey, This Should Be Good,” the band delivers a ferocious and DIY-laced punk racket, a ragged and melodic bit of craggy rock rebellion that instantly melts into the pores of your skin and settles down into the hollow parts of your bones. It’s a familiar sound, but the band doesn’t settle for simply retreading the strengths of their musical heroes—they build a punk rock ode to the joy of noise and emotional dysfunction and middle fingers thrown in unison. On the surface, it’s the usual brew of punk philosophies and musical touchstones, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a band that seems to understand why volume isn’t as important as the underlying connectivity that holds all the small details of the songs together.
Opening with a brief snippet from “That ‘70s Show,” the record immediately presents a full-frenzy barrage of zigzagging guitars and bombastic percussion. But on other tracks such as “Grab Life by the Slice” and “I Don’t Have to Believe,” they reveal a quieter (well … more quiet, anyway) side that gives them time to explore the nuance that so few people realize is essential in the creation of viable punk rock. The closing track, “Reverse Hollow,” in particular, feels like a refreshing step outside after being cooped up inside for a week, as its unapologetic acoustic opening dovetails nicely into a brief but glorious mass of blistering guitar licks and thrashing drum detonations. The record revels in its ability to confound our expectations while leaving a mile-long patch of scorched earth in its wake.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.