A horrible hack

The Goodnight Loving

Supper Club

Year Released: 2010
Format: CD
Label: Dirtnap
 
Reviewed by james pacanowski on Sep 3, 2010
What a pity the summer's over. If ever there were a record custom-built for August road-tripping, Supper Club would be it. Not the British road-trip experience, for the record; this is definitely more Highway 61 than M1 to Milton Keynes.

From what I have divulged from the internet (no press material with this, plus points for not giving me any stupid bumf to ignore at least): Goodnight Loving are a Milwaukee band who have been going since the early 00's. This is their eighth (I think?) release, and their fourth full-length. It might go some way to explaining why this record sounds so assured.

Putting Goodnight Loving in a nutshell is difficult. It is plainly obvious they are influenced by all manner of 60s powerpop, as they take in all the usual touchstones of the British Invasion bands, Spector's wall of sound and electrified folk like The Byrds, but also flirt with country and occasional forays into 50's jukebox pop fodder too. So take that, then filter it through the jangle pop of college radio bands like Big Star and The Feelies. I am aware these are pretty big time comparisons but I assure you they are mostly justified.

While I would be incredibly hard-pressed to pick a favourite from this record, special mention must be made to “Doesn't Shake Me” which could have been the hit of many a person's summer. Or mine at least. It's a pretty simple formula: repetitive refrain, a whistling bridge, a shitload of tambourine and a chorus that gets stuck in your head before you've even heard it. The bass makes itself known a little more on this one too, which might be why I am so partial to it. The jammy bastards must recognise how good the song is too, as they precede it with relatively downbeat instrumental number “Deep Black Pool” which comes across as a lurching, red-eyed Link Wray or Dick Dale in the midst of a Delta Blues acid dream. When “Doesn't Shake Me” kicks in right after, it really blows out the cobwebs.

Other honourable mentions must go to opener “Ain't it Weird” with its country swagger and slide guitar; the bluegrass-ish “It's a Long Way in a Bad Way”; the rumbling, warbling “Bike + Stick”; the swaying, doo-wop stylings of “Addicted to Debt”... really nearly every one of these 15 tracks would stand up perfectly admirably as an A-side on a 7” (the few instrumental numbers would probably make fine B-sides).

That this record is made with such enthusiasm and vigour is what makes it stand out amongst the bored-sounding Spector imitators. It's come at the exact right time for me as I wasn't sure I could take one more laconic, lethargic garage-pop band, but now my faith in the 60s revival has been restored. Fans of Marked Men would most likely adore this; it lacks that band's fuzzed edge, but it can pile on the melodies just as well as that troupe. Get on it.
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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