Published Sep 12, 2018The members of Brisbane's the Goon Sax have only recently departed their teen years, but they're already on their sophomore album, We're Not Talking, a graceful ascent into adulthood. It is jangly and playful, while offering sobering portraits of reflections on navigating relationships in all their complexity.
"It's so hard to be who you want me to be," they sing on "Love Lost," shifting into guitar-and-bass-led verses that retain a sense of momentum. The band have an ability to present the blunt, honest emotions of growing up within music that is finding its identity.
We're Not Talking's lead single, "She Knows," captures an off-kilter, driving pop sound, putting them in league with fellow Australians, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, but it is arguably the band's minimalist tracks that are most affecting. "Strange Light" is an album highlight, including drummer/vocalist Riley Jones' rumination about change: "I'm so scared to get out of here, but I really wanna get out of here / But I'll miss the sadness, that's the only thing that I have ever known."
The Goon Sax are able to balance melancholy with the excitement of shedding adolescence through the perfect conduit: pop songs. (Wichita)