It’s been three years since the Albany garage rock trio Good Fiction dropped their debut Call Me (By Name) EP. On March 22, they’re back with And The Walls…– a EP that’s even more danceable as their last.
The instrumentals on And The Walls… are gorgeous. The kind of music that hits you right where you want it to. It’s a prowling, slithering sound that winds up and and strikes in psychedelic swirls and bombastic hooks.
In “Bleeding, Burning,” the guitar follows closely behind the drums that trudge forth like a massive giant crushing the world under its feet. It’s got real power as a lead-in track.
Following suit, “Empty Promises” starts out in a hypnotic haze with its repeated mantra of “I will fill you up with empty promises / I will fill you up with empty promises” as it cranks up with a screeching riff to snap you back to attention. Suddenly “Just My Kind” marches in with intention, sultry and heaving, straight through to the head-bopping single “Like I’m Your Man (For Real).” The churning grand finale of “Moment, Lust, Kiss, Cuss,” wraps the EP, encapsulating the pop-rock themes of drinkin’, lovin’ and trying to survive long enough to keep playin’ good music.
The one drawback to the record lies in its production. At times, vocals from Patrick Grace sound muffled past the point of an effect, as if they’ve been hidden away under layers of instrumentals. For a band at its best when they’ve got a brick on the gas pedal, they can’t afford to keep it quiet. Grace has a voice with serious potential, like a rasping Caleb Followill, whose strain and power could be a gamechanger if they brought him up just a bit. He’s right there, teetering on the edge–about to drown in the midst of rumbling bass and guitar.
It could almost be a metaphor for the band: a group with an excellent sound that’s capable of exploding onto the scene–but is shrouded by their predecessors.
For those who haven’t had the chance to give them a listen, Good Fiction is essentially a direct descendant of the Arctic Monkeys, The White Stripes, Black Keys or Death From Above 1979. Their quivering rhythms and stomping beats of And The Walls… sound awfully close to the icons–almost too close.
The four-track effort is a testament to strengths the band draws from its influences. For jonesing fans of the thick and gritty garage rock, Good Fiction is the just the right band for a fix, but they’re still ironing out their own identity. Their sounds are oh, so satisfying, but a question keeps tapping away…who is this band, really?
Their whole aesthetic is so satisfying. It’s dark and heavy, but still accessible and their sound begs to tear the room apart. You can easily picture yourself in front of a live show as it all crashes over you as the speakers combust. But something seems to be holding them back that is still present in And The Walls… — it makes you stir crazy. You want those walls to crash down because there’s a signature sound in Good Fiction that is right on the cusp of breaking through, they just have to find it.
Catch the band live at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen in Albany with Sun Natives, Lucy and The Age on Friday March 23 at 8 PM