I was expecting to hear punk rock when I first starting listening to the album The Goddamn Band Album by The Goddamn Band but instead I was treated to what could described as lo-fi progressive soul funk music. When the band jams they sometime sound like The Dave Matthews Band, other times like something you would hear from an indie rock act. They are a five-piece consisting of Nick Pimentel (guitar and voice), Alec Speckenbach (saxophone), Brendy Hale (drums), Claire Hinkley (violin and voice) and Leif Christiansen (bass) and they are all talented at their respective instruments and have their fair share of inspired moments on the album.
Pimentel is the lead vocalist and he often sounds hopelessly young and naive throughout the album. I know that doesn't sound like a compliment but it often gives the music an endearing quality that makes you want to root for him. His voice grows on you as the album progresses and I really enjoyed the moments when he harmonized with Hinkley. His voice sounded best in lower registers with a bit of melancholy. Some of his attempts at straining his voice didn’t work that great.
The band starts off strong with “Burnt Lip.” This is a great example of the band hitting their stride as they sound loose, fun and implement a jazzy, pop vibe. All the instrumental parts are on point as they deliver a variation of infectious melodies. You might remember a band called The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group from ten or fifteen years ago. If you do the comparisons are undeniable.
Another highlight is “Her Highways,” which contains one of the most beautiful moments on the album where a memorable guitar part is supported by a lush violin and sax. On top of that the drum part is intricate and the snare work is not to be missed.
Not every song on The Goddamn Band Album works and occasionally the lo-fi production adversely affects the impact of some of the more intense moments but overall this was a satisfying album that not only has a number of well-written songs but also feels like a breath of fresh air.
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