The Good Life and II Deep – November 1st, 2003 Review @ Greencastle Indiana (JMcQ)

Bringing me back to my earliest days in shows, the concert that occurred at Megan’s, a Greencastle High Schooler, brought back a lot of ambivalent memories to my own high school punk experience. This time, there was no screaming at “the fag in the Manson shirt”, but getting out there was a more interesting story than any I had encountered up to that point. Earlier that day, I was in Bloomington with my buddy Mayghin, and I only got into town about a half-hour before the concert was scheduled to start. On the trip back, Mayghin was barely awake, which put a minor amount of fear in me – not as much, say, as one of the first times I went to Bloomington, where we had to continue stopping due to the car overheating and a lack of knowledge between Alyson and I on how to lift the hood.

We get back to the house with about a half-hour left, as was previously mentioned, and Mayghin immediately – and I do mean immediately, possibly only a minute from hitting the bed to full on unconsciousness – crashes on my bed. I felt so bad for waking her up, but was extremely awesome in taking me out to the show, even with the street that the concert was supposed to be on being mislabeled. We pull up to the house, it raining slowly, and there are probably only like twenty people standing around. Being not very well versed in the Greencastle music scene or with the current individuals who are still currently in High School. Just like every single show I’ve been to, the first band, II Deep, takes about fifteen minutes to set up, and finally starts their show amidst screaming and the typical “I love yous”.

II Deep had just played my radio show a few days before being at this show, so I was able to get a better read on what they sounded like than most of the times I’ve reviewed other local bands. Their first track, “Honest Lies”, was much more clear and cohesive than the acoustic, no-drum version they had played on my show a few days before that. The bass line, played by Jeff, was strong and acted as a sword through the track, which was only hampered by a weak ending. Moving back into their covers, “Dammit” started out of tune but had the benefit of a strong set of vocals. “Thursday”, their next track, had strong guitar lines but muffled solos, that are further muddied up by the fact that the drums were up much too high.

“Swing Swing”, the All-American Rejects cover, which they absolutely butchered during my radio show, was done much better this nite. The faceless guitars still are there, and II Deep tries their best with the two part harmony, but the guitar solo was completely obscured again by the drums. “AWay” has a bass intro that shows some technical skill by Jeff, as well as a set of multi-harmonics that work together to make this one of the more memorable tracks of the night. Running out of playable originals, II Deep cover “Basket Case”, utterly killing the song while both cutting out a number of times as well as not continuing the spirit of poppiness that made the original so endearing. Following up that atrocity up with “When I Come Around”, II Deep makes their apology complete with a very spot-on cover, with the vocals becoming the most memorable thing of the song. Moving into “All The Small Things”, II Deep runs back into the problem of being off-key at the beginning, with guitar lines that are just off.

Coming from the radio show, II Deep had a better show, but when one saw them on the twentieth, one just might be disappointed. I would say to still check them out, but due to difficulties arising from another of my radio shows, II Deep are defunct. Lets hope that Jeff and the guys find another method to continue putting out music.

The Good Life had the same effect that they always have, with about another 30 or 40 people joining the crowd to watch the guys. Starting off their sound check with a weak version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, for a kid standing in the audience with a Nirvana hoodie on, The Good Life moved into a version of Brand New’s “Toutu” that drug on for a while, having some minor issues with the drums. “All The Quiet Things..”, another Brand New cover, has the beginnings of what seems to be the biggest prolem with The Good Life this night – a lack of sticktoitiveness with the tempo, moving from being too fast in some of their covers to much too slow. This has the beginnings of what seems to be the biggest problem with The Good Life this night – a lack of sticktoitiveness with the tempo, moving from being too fast in some of their covers to much too slow in others. The vocals on this track can barely be heard, but were rectified in their cover of Thousand Foot Krutch’s “When In Doubt”.

“When In Doubt” is a much faster song, with multipart harmony that actually works. The Good Life really rock during this track, even if their drum fills are a little cliché. “My Only Cure”, by Recover, is meshed along with the intro for “Bad Timing”, also by Recover, and The Good Life’s version of this song is pretty good, even the fact that everything is blotted out by the craziness of the guitars. Other covers would ensue, including “Cute Without the E”, by Taking Back Sunday, “Sic Transit Gloria…” and “70×7” by Brand New, but really what stood out is their first original, “Save Me”. While it may be a minor amount of work to go about and do an impressive cover, it really is a much more impressive effort to create a song, especially a song like this that breaks away from the previously constructed feel of the band. “Save Me” is not a Brand New or Yellowcard-influenced song, but rather one with a Feeder and Pissants (Buffalo) style guitar lines and Rage Against the Machine drums, and this song could be the one thing that really makes me think that Greencastle might have a future in all musical forms.

Sure, GBA has their own special version of punk music, II Deep had a few originals in their own style of music, but The Good Life is able to make a musical statement in a genre already plagued by musical sycophants. With all of these talented acts around Greencastle, your best bet is to put money on one of these work horses, and see exactly how far they go. Greencastle may be a sense in its infancy, but that’s not to say that there is a vacuum of talent here.

The Good Life and II Deep – November 1st, 2003 @ Greencastle Indiana (JMcQ)

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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