It’s been a weird week for many reasons. But one good thing that’s come out of it is hearing Goan Dogs’ album, ‘Call Your Mum’.
While it’s not a freshly dropped release, it’s new to me. It traverses the jagged, cut-throat landscape of a young person’s trials and tribulations, exploring common themes of anxiety, paranoia and simply not feeling up to standard. And it’s all so seamlessly done through post-tropical indie melodies and skewed rock riffs, with quirky vocals placing the cherry on top. If you’re into your alternative genres, a dollop of this will do the trick.
Goan Dogs are clearly a band who can dump what’s in their brain onto paper and turn their musings into sharpened, refined verses. They set out their stall as this kind of outfit from the get-go, with the ultra-honest ‘Anxiety’ the first of the 12 tracks. The plucked strings provide an edgy tune, while the vocals on the chorus are staggered and off-kilter, drawing out the syllables of ‘Anxiety’ in a bizarrely fluid fashion. It flows as though they’re having these darting thoughts while speaking about them. This is also the first instance of the band navigating general anguish, but in this case, being left on ‘read’ after messaging someone. They’re essentially putting music to regular occurrences that people face. Why wouldn’t that be well received?
You then get this sort of Queen-esque intro to ‘I Can’t Sleep’, which has a funky beat that wouldn’t sit out of a place on a low-rent R&B track. It’s a cool sound that’ll get you up off your seat and bopping along. It’s definitely one of the standouts.
Experimental elements snatch the limelight on ‘Nothing Like This’, but if we’re talking instant hits, we’ve got to just skip ahead a tad to ‘Now or Never’. A softer beat and elongated vocals feature, and it’s all about reading the room and striking while the iron’s hot. Do you? Don’t you? It’s a playful piece with Metronomy vibes.
And while we’re on the subject of what’s reminiscent of other bands, there’s something about the opening riff of the next song, ‘Shut Up’, which peculiarly smacks of Warpaint’s ‘Elephants’, just in a different key. Anybody else get that? If not, this track’s epic regardless. It’s laced with subtle humour as it runs through a situation whereby you’re at a party and your pal won’t stop droning on. Its matter-of-fact wholesomeness is very ‘Sixth Form band’ in style. Fun. Fabulous.
Other utter rippers come in the form of the dreamy ‘I Don’t Want to Fight’, super-uptempo ‘Zombies’, chilled house-tinged ‘Interlude 02’ and bass-driven ‘Drinking on a School Night’. But, in fairness, each one of the album’s offerings is groovy as hell.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘Shut Up’ (But also make sure you spin the lot)