GOOD FRIEND: Ride the Storm: CD

Man, do I love a tinny, snappy snare and this record has it in spades. I don’t know much about tuning drums, but however you get that metallic quick whip of a snare beat, it’s my favorite. After just a single pass through on this album, I woke up—not one, not two—but three days in a row with “Rock Bottom Revival” stuck in my head .That’s one goddamned catchy song. It was very fleeting, but with the itty bit of synth in that track, I was reminded of early aughts pop punk and ska. The rest of the song is a ballad that sharply layers melody. With songs pivoting around lore of things like Hy-Brasil and Fionn, I found myself reading up on Irish mythology. Having seen Giants Causeway where Fionn (also known as Finn MacCool) was said to have battled a giant from Scotland, I felt more endeared to this band. Most of the record is an anthemic ripper, while still including a softer acoustic tune that’d be right at home at any pub. What I’m really taken aback with this band is their vocalist. He’s got incredible range and volume while being fiercely vitriolic as well as canorous. Aptly self-aware, they end the record on a tune of love lost called “Irish Goodbyes,” which conjures up comparisons to Apologies, I Have None for me. This’ll be a record I come back to time and time again. –Kayla Greet (Red Scare)