I don’t understand the current proliferation of bands with a melodic post-hardcore-y sound and screamed vocals calling themselves “hardcore” bands. The U.K.’s Goodtime Boys are one of the better-sounding of this crop of bands. What’s Left to Let Go is a double EP worth of the band’s material on one CD. Their music is at times aggressive, and at others mellow and subdued, retaining a melodic element even at its most spastic. I wanted more of the spastic aggressive parts, as they felt like they were too few and far between the subdued riffing and drumming over which vocalist Alexander Pennie screams and speaks his introspective lyrics. The lyrics are generally well written, but Pennie’s vocal delivery, combined with the frequently subdued vibe on this didn’t do much for me. The big exception to this was “Wake/Daylight” whose extended intro builds to a frantic crescendo before ripping into the song proper. From there things do mellow a bit, but they pick up once more and build to the end, like a wave crashing in upon shore. I think if there had been more tracks like this, and the follow-up, “Harrow,” I might have enjoyed this better. It’s an album done in a style that doesn’t really excite me, but it’s done well enough for me to appreciate it. I can’t call it a goodtime, but I can call it an okaytime.
–Paul J. Comeau (Bridge Nine)