Goodnight Loving – The Goodnight Loving Supper Club (Music Review)

The Goodnight Loving Supper Club cover

Goodnight Loving - The Goodnight Loving Supper Club

I don’t know much about Goodnight Loving, and I kind of like it that way. In my mind, they’re a group of underachieving stoner friends who hook up the recording equipment in someone’s garage about once a year to bang out hook-filled, fuzzed out rock, This idea is probably rooted in my mind because when I first found them, they had nothing but a Myspace page and Amazon was only selling used copied of their CDs. Well, those albums are finally easy to find in print, and their label has even given them a webpage now (from which I see that I missed one of their releases – there are downsides to being an enigma). Still, The Goodnight Loving isn’t as well-known as they deserve to be. In fact, I confidently declare them to be the best band without a Wikipedia page.

The Goodnight Loving Supper Club retains the low-fi atmosphere that defined the band, but it is obvious that they’ve stepped out of the garage into a real recording studio. There are no sloppy single-take moments, and everything fits together with a professional precision. The higher budget production does a good job of approximating their low-budget sound, but the smoothing out comes at the expense of both the highs and the lows.

Speaking of smoothing out, the songs seem to be comfortably bland. While Cemetery Trails used its rambling pop sound to examine painful moments and damaged people without getting too depressing, and Crooked Lake was high-energy fun with a great basement-country vibe, Supper Club’s focus is on more psychedelic lyrics. “She gave me flowers that I couldn’t see” begins “Bike + Stick”, while “Summer Dream” tells a rambling story that fits the name. “Ain’t It Weird?” trips through concepts like “we poked out our eyes in a game we devised where we looked through a cellophane screen” and seems to forget them by the end of the verse, and “Sunnyside” is an energetic little ditty about waking up hungover. The songs are fun, but rarely memorable.

The Goodnight Loving continues to belt out their songs with a punk efficiency: They average just over two minutes long, with only a few barely breaking the three-minute mark. Supper Club includes two instrumentals, though, each flowing smoothly from the preceding track. This is a good trick on the band’s part, allowing them to flesh out the space they’re working in and provide the rambling feel that this album’s stoner vibe demands, while still making each track short and standalone out of respect for their punk approach. The whole album feels a little like that, in fact: Goodnight Loving manages to find new territory to explore without ever leaving the confines that define them as a band. While this may not be their strongest effort, it’s that guaranteed mix of consistency and experimentation that makes all their albums sure bets.

Grade: B-


 

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    • JV
    • February 4th, 2013

    I love their songs too!

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