Album Review: Goodluck Jonathan – This is Our Way Out

By on Tuesday, 26th July 2011 at 2:00 pm

Depending on how up to date you are on African politics, this may or may not be the review you are looking for. Sharing their name with the current Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan are a five-piece from Brighton who have just released their debut album ‘This is Our Way Out’. The reason a genre hasn’t been mentioned yet is because they’re too hard to pin down, throughout the debut LP there’s enough musical influences to pick out you could form the world’s greatest supergroup.

Perhaps the reason for the change in style throughout the album is because it’s a collection of the band’s past three EPs, three different recordings from various periods of the band’s musical influences. But what could be deemed a disjointed mesh of music, is in fact a very interesting listen. Album opener ‘Bruises Disappear’ sets the mood with a progressive melody and a distorted news report before the sound balloons and expands until you’re sucked in to the catchy groove and brilliant vocals. Akin to the likes of CKY with elements of At the Drive-In, it’s a faultless way to open an debut record.

However, after the previous hints of proto-metal, ‘Stranded’ has disbanded the heavier side of music and opted for an electro-indie vibe. The blippy bloppy synth and softer voice lends itself toward the ilk of Foals and Bombay Bicycle Club, but it sounds like it’s all been done before (which to an extent it has). Except for the big sounding breakdown, there’s nothing too outlandish and original. The album continues in this way of peaks and troughs for the duration, but luckily with more peaks. As well as the quality at times fluctuating, the style is much more erratic. Whether it’s the Placebo-esque ‘Broken Heart’ or the ‘Bearer Of Bad News’ era Enter Shikari styled ‘Away From Here’ – it’s one band’s musical journey into finding their own sound – one which is as interesting as it is enjoyable.

The highlights from the Brighton noiseniks’ debut are the emotive ‘Lights Burn My Eyes’ and the big sounding stadium rock ‘Backs to the Wall’. Despite the overall genre being arguably different, the songs are bound together by the melodic guitars, rolling drums and powerful vocals – three staples which remain in tact when the feeling changes. Closer and title track ‘This is Our Way Out’ is a fantastic culmination of the majority of styles you’ve just heard. The deep sounding bass drum coupled with the haunting electro intro is similar to the Antlers, until the spoken word vocals take over. What started as another tip of the hat to electro-indie has transformed into a slower imagining of Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. It grows and swells into an almost Gorillaz style instrumental which suddenly stops.

Goodluck Jonathan have delivered a debut album which has been cherry picked from their own personal ‘best of’. Having three separate releases to choose from for the 11 track LP, the songs have been honed and crafted to the best of the band’s ability – and it shows. The hooks are catchy the lyrics are passionate and the music (although there is one or two dud tracks) shows promising signs of a much more famous band. Just give them time.


‘This is Our Way Out’ is available now from Something Nothing.

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