There is a tendency, with every music fan, to return to the music they first fell in love with, in adolescence or otherwise. It's nigh on unavoidable to return to our first memories of freedom, exuberance, romance, belonging, and all the other good stuff that makes us fall in love with music and the culture that surrounds it.
Good Grief, a two piece indie punk band from Mesa, AZ, clearly have a love for infectious, high octane power pop punk from the early 2000s. By the band’s own admission, they're taking their cues from Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and Bayside. I would add Bright Eyes and Weezer to that list, for a thorough approximation of what's in store for you, when listening to I Don't Know Why, I Don't Know Why.
Unfortunately, I was already in my early 20s by this point. I was certainly around this scene, but it passed me by. I was mired in melancholy, debt, and depression when this generation was discovering the joys of circle pits, friends, fashion, and rebellion. As someone who's been on the scene the whole time, a great deal of my friends have a total fondness for this era of music, as the sound of their adolescence. It reminds them of late-night all-ages-shows, arms slung around shoulders; singing, sweating, and swaying along.
That being said, I really have to work to get into this sound.
But, as Good Grief say themselves, they filter their rock n’ roll with more of a traditional punk intensity, which I can totally agree with. They also run a gamut of styles, from scorching punk "Worst Kind Of Person", to heartfelt acoustic ballads like "Too Late Loser.".
Basically, if you like Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, The Descendants, or Bright Eyes, you will find a lot to love in this record. And if you don't, take a chance and take a listen. There are glorious elements that reveal Good Grief to be passionate musicians and engineers, which deserves to be applauded.
All in all, it's a solid effort, even if the style's not for you.
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