Goldenboy â€“ Right Kind of Wrong / 2004 Fastmusic / 10 Tracks / http://www.goldenboyrocks.com / http://www.fastmusic.com / Reviewed 17 October 2004
Providing a type of pop-punk that draws together Weezer, Green Day, SR-71, as well as the SoCal punk of the mid to late nineties, Norwayâ€™s Goldenboy have a professional air around them that shows a devotion that not many American bands have. â€œ(Not) Going Home Aloneâ€ highlights the heavy influence of Weezer on the band, while the second track, â€œThe Challengeâ€ is diametrically opposed in style and direct influences. Much more harsh guitars line â€œThe Challengeâ€, and while Tokeâ€™s vocals are the same sort of Art Alexakis / Rivers Cuomo mix, the resurgent bass line of Nils and splashy drums of BT provide a different context in which Toke works in. The strongest track on the disc is the timeless â€œIn A Year Or Twoâ€, which flawlessly recalls the strongest suits of the Descendents and Jawbreaker â€“ having a set of vocals that are proactive but not dwarfing the rest of the instruments, and a perfect, nondescript guitar wash that is properly nuanced by the breakdown during the chorus.
Forcing the track into a hurry-up offense, the drums on â€œWhat If What Notâ€ parallel Tokeâ€™s Vandals-esque arrangement of the vocal duties on this track. Coming through with a distinctive slow-dance punk song, â€œ56â€ is a track that taps the Weezer well again, but strays away from being clichÃ©d with the inclusion of a Spartan musical backdrop for Tokeâ€™s barely-sung vocals on the track. Finally striking a mid-disc stretch of desert during â€œPinkâ€, Goldenboyâ€™s anemic vocals and reluctance to carve out any new ground for this track. Rebounding strongly with the follow-up track to â€œPinkâ€, â€œOnce Again (You Donâ€™t Deserve This)â€ is another track that showcases a form of singing at times by Toke that, like Blink 182â€™s â€œAdamâ€™s Songâ€, is barely more than a whisper.
Goldenboy comes through with a disc that is very solidly steeped in their general sound, but comes out of its comfort zone in all the right times, only showing a bare spot once or twice on â€œRight Kind of Wrongâ€. The production value is off of the chart, as these tracks are polished, arranged, and played well enough to not cause any raised eyebrows if they would be played on the largest radio stations or music video channels. By removing any specific stylistic nods to a period in music, Goldenboy has skillfully created a type of punk that will be as vibrant as the Ramonesâ€™ first albums are today.
Top Tracks: In A Year Or Two, When Summer Turns To Fall