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Goldfinger - Hello Destiny (Cover Artwork)

Goldfinger

Goldfinger: Hello DestinyHello Destiny (2008)
Side One Dummy Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: elmojitoelmojito
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Goldfinger and I haven't really got along since their pop-punk animal rights protest Open Your Eyes. Most people were put off by their didactic tone, but it was their sheer ineloquence that aggravated me. Although their first two albums were nigh on perfect, frontman and lyricist John Feldmann sudde.
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Goldfinger and I haven't really got along since their pop-punk animal rights protest Open Your Eyes. Most people were put off by their didactic tone, but it was their sheer ineloquence that aggravated me. Although their first two albums were nigh on perfect, frontman and lyricist John Feldmann suddenly seemed totally unable to write a sentiment about his melodramatic personal conflicts, let alone broach a sensitive topic like animal rights. Instead of inspiring, he came across as preachy, and I don't doubt many borderline vegetarians got out their bows and arrows and hit the woods out of pure spite after hearing that album.

Hello Destiny marks a supposed return to form for the band, taking influence from the style of their earlier work with the addition of original (and totally awesome) guitarist Charlie Paulson. This is evident on some songs, such as "Without Me" and "How Do You Do It," both of which are up there with anything else the band have in their catalogue. All the other songs on the first half of the album are highly capable, but still somehow lack the charm of early Goldfinger, which is a pity. The second half has its moments, but also highlights everything that went wrong with the band since Stomping Ground. Creatively, it's pretty barren, and lyrically, it's just atrocious. "Bury Me" is generally without any reason for admiration and although "Not Amused" tries to be aggressive, it is about as intimidating as having a cuddly toy hurled at you by a four-year-old. You just want to ruffle their hair and say it's long past their bedtime. Instead, I recommend Paulson's other band, Black President, for a slightly more spiteful attack on things that are corporate, instead of this 'the media are big bad men' nonsense. "Hand Jobs for Jesus" will never be as funny as they obviously thought it was in the studio, and when you realize there isn't really anything left on the album except a saccharine acoustic track about Feldmann's baby son, you feel a little short-changed. On the plus side, other reviewers have noted that this last song guarantees Feldman Jr. will be thoroughly bullied when he goes to school. Even this sweet-packed lunch of schadenfreude doesn't rescue the album from mediocrity.

Hello Destiny is not the Goldfinger we used to love, but it does have a few moments that remind us what they could be capable of. Mainly, I would condemn it for being under length as essentially you're buying maybe five cool (-ish) songs, then another six that should not even have been whispered about, let alone recorded. The problem is that even though Goldfinger have technically returned to their roots, their present still haunts them. For a lot of people, that is John Feldmann being a dick about animal rights. Again. This makes people uncomfortable for two reasons: Firstly, because he is so ineloquent when he shoves his views down your throat that even if you agree with him, you'll want to argue on principle. Secondly, because the fight for animal rights shows the main flaw in the punk spirit. It's all well and good moaning about the government and the media, but what if you imply that a fundamental aspect of life that you take for granted is actually evil -- an aspect that you actually take pleasure in and have no intention to alter. Like eating meat. Then things change from being revolutionary to intrusive and imposing.

If Goldfinger had maintained the standard of their music from the beginning and wrote more erudite attacks on the hypocrisy of your diet, then people would take a lot more notice. By failing at both, they become annoying on a whole new level. I want to be a fan of the band again, and I want to get up and fight for nature, but I'd rather barbecue an entire petting zoo than agree with John Feldmann. If this is their musical destiny, I'm sorry that they accept it so readily. If they knew their facts about animal rights, they'd know that medium rare is how you serve a delicious steak, not an ideology.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
phillipick (January 22, 2009)

It's not so much a "holier than thou" attitude as it is about being a bleeding heart for a cause that most folks don't consider important. Any musician who writes songs about animal rights almost immediately falls under scrutiny and misperception.

Most bands who preach animal rights (Propagandhi, Riot/Clone, GF...) offer links to informative literature or videos - so the unbiased information is out there. John Feldmann just makes for an easy target to people who have a harsh (or lazy) attitude toward veganism, whether the material is articulated in a clever way or not.

tenwestchaser (January 20, 2009)

"Look, I am a vegetarian and have been for 7 years. I chose to live that way. However, I won't cut myself from everybody who doesn't think like me. John Feldman is a motherfucking asshole and Peta is no better in many ways."

I think you absolutely nail what is wrong with most people who are vegan or hold such "holier than thou-inducing" type opinions. The whole "if you eat meat you are a fucking idiot" attitude is frustrating, to say the least. Just because I love meat as much as most vegans hate it doesn't give me the right to say something as barbaric as "try meat right now or fuck you entirely." That's how idiotic the PETA/Vegan approach comes across to me.

By all means, form your own opinions and stand by them. That is whats so great about both punk rock and this country. But like the reviewer, and the few that have agreed with them have said, just don't be a grunting, caveman-beating-his-chest type bully about such an intellectual subject matter. Thats going to make me turn and walk the other way instead of drawing me in to your argument and actually wanting to hear out your side (even though I might not agree).

FelixT (January 20, 2009)

"The idea that songs about animal rights should be poeticized and presented in a respectful manner for carnivores is stupid."

It's not that. It's that they basically shove their ideas down our throats. Instead of making rational and mature arguments about why meat is bad, they basically say "it's bad, that's all there is to it, if you don't agree with you, you're stupid."

Look, I am a vegetarian and have been for 7 years. I chose to live that way. However, I won't cut myself from everybody who doesn't think like me. John Feldman is a motherfucking asshole and Peta is no better in many ways. There. I said it. If your only way to prove a point is by insulting people's intelligence, maybe your point is not that strong to begin with.

itsAgiftANDaCurse (January 20, 2009)

I like Goldfinger and I love meat.

jacknife737 (January 20, 2009)

I never really got the hate for "Open Your Eyes"; it's no different from Stomping Ground.

paulrulzdood (January 19, 2009)

incredibly mediocre album, and this was supposed to be their "comeback" record, with Charlie returning to the fold, no longer being on a major label and putting it out via the old-school band revivalist label, SideOneDummy.

but where MxPx, the Bosstones and the Suicide Machines succeded, putting out their best releases in years when they jumped from the world of the majors to the freedom of SideOneDummy, Goldfinger have failed, pretty miserably.

this album is really no better than their last two painful releases "disconnection notice" and "open your eyes". there still the completely pointless cameo's from other artists that have worked with Feldman in their bands, there's still the overwhelming lack of ska and there's still the dumb-guy-preachin' lyrics and throwaway songs.

the first half is decent. "without me" is a very strong song, probably the best song i've heard from them since "stomping ground" in 2000. "get up" and "the only one" are at least legitimate efforts to bring back their "hang ups" era ska (although "get up" is hurt by it's preachy-vegan lyrics).
"goodbye" and "how do you do it" are pretty upbeat and catchy and seem to hit the mark as close to their s/t days of pure pop-punk as they have since the 90's.

but the other 7 tracks are shite. you've got the goofball throwaway songs in "handjobs for jesus" and "not amused', you've got the luke-warm opener "one more time", the preachy vegan song "free kevin kjonas" (whoever the fuck he is) and then it ends on an acoustic song for John's son that would have been best left on Feldman's home computer, since no one outside of family would give a shit about that song.

so overall, yea, Feldman is on the wrong side of 40 and even the freedom of SideOneDummy and the return of Charlie can rejuvenate this band. to me, this album was strike 3, 3 shitty albums in a row and my last hope. then i saw them open for LTJ last year and i'm certian, Goldfinger have completely lost their touch and what made them an enjoyable band 10 years ago and need to go away. now.

Paul

phillipick (January 19, 2009)

I agree Goldfinger isn't good anymore, but this reviewer has his loin cloth in a bunch because John Feldmann tells kids eating meat is bad. The idea that songs about animal rights should be poeticized and presented in a respectful manner for carnivores is stupid.

drbino (January 19, 2009)

Great review, shithouse album.

fattony (January 18, 2009)

Liked the first half of the album, but the second half is totally mediocre and forgettable. As a result, I've only listened to it a few times. This review nails everything Goldfinger did right and everything they did wrong on this album. Well done.

mikexdude (January 18, 2009)

I see a review as the combing of an argument (your opinion) and summarizing (with details). He's really heavy on the former, and not strong enough with the latter. Not to mention his argument is a little TOO specific.

rupertmurder (January 18, 2009)

"So, you're saying that it's ok for a punk band to bitch about things and be crass and ineloquent so long as it isn't something that you do? If he is a vegetarian and for animal rights, he has every right to sing about it. Just because you don't agree doesn't make it a flaw with the music."

The reviewer makes some very level-headed indictments against a band which is, as the reviewer said, ineloquent. It has nothing to do with the fact that the reviewer is mad because the reviewer eats meat--I don't eat meat and I think that Goldfinger has no subtle songwriting skills whatsoever, AND THAT is why trying to write songs about animal rights fails for them. Because they are shitty at writing lyrics. Basically, the reviewer is saying, when it comes to writing lyrics Goldfinger shits the bed. I agree with him. Does everyone have to make this so goddamned personal? Its nice to see a review which is longer than a paragraph and which actually argues a point on here.

salsashark (January 18, 2009)

I thought this was a pretty damn good review, actually. Yes, there is some clear bias, but this was much more substantial and interesting than a lot of the crap that makes it to the left sidebar. Give the guy some credit for putting some personality into it rather than resorting to cliches and pandering references.

mikexdude (January 18, 2009)

Hey, I ain't doggin' your opinion -- I respect anyone who puts their writing up at the risk of ridicule from punknews.org.

elmojito (January 18, 2009)

"You only have opinions on things you publish as reviews?"

I said 'yet', I'm sure you can't wait for my next piece.

But good point, like most people I have opinions on a myriad of subjects. However, this was the article I chose to submit, so that and my comments underneath are your only available window into what I think. So unless I write more, that's all you have to work on. And of course I would, but my opinions don't seem to be going down too well...

mikexdude (January 18, 2009)

Well I haven't reviewed anything of theirs yet

You only have opinions on things you publish as reviews?

elmojito (January 18, 2009)

"So, Goldfinger is too ineloquent, but Propagandhi and their "go vegan or go fuck yourself" doesn't cause the same problem?"

Well I haven't reviewed anything of theirs yet.

So until then, where's the confusion? I do quite like Propagandhi, but I also quite like Goldfinger. I was just disappointed in this album, and decided to mock it.

kevinh (January 18, 2009)

"I actually quite like Propagandhi, for whoever asked."

So, Goldfinger is too ineloquent, but Propagandhi and their "go vegan or go fuck yourself" doesn't cause the same problem?

mikexdude (January 18, 2009)

The animal rant thing is a little too irrelevant to the album as a whole.

Johntx (January 18, 2009)

straight up trash.

elmojito (January 18, 2009)

Ok, as the asshole who wrote this review, I feel I should join the comments section.

For the record, I actually agree with most of the stuff that has been posted here. My problem with John Feldmann is not his ideological beliefs, but his ineloquence at expressing his dissent that I feel has affected the standard of the last few Goldfinger albums. When Goldfinger release some actual music, I will talk more about the music. When they release a package of diatribe, yes I will respond with diatribe. Itís called taking the piss. Iím sorry if anyone made the mistake that I was being totally serious with this. Eight months is a bit late for a serious review.

I actually quite like Propagandhi, for whoever asked.

And, this album was quite a pleasant surprise after Disconnection Notice.

Also, it is a valid point to illustrate that racism, sexism etc are also fundamental aspects of some peoplesí lives. Kudos to the guy who said that, I really hope it didnít seem I was implying the opposite. However, I did not know that gay bashing was as prevalent in the national daily routine as beef lasagne, but hey, Iím from England.

Still, I stand by my point that animal rights is such a sensitive topic that it can elicit an emotional response from a truly huge audience. And people often do feel uncomfortable when presented with the facts, because depending on what you had for dinner, youíre instantly culpable.

In my opinion, this is what John Feldmann has to handle, and I was satirizing his inarticulate approach.

sumwon (January 18, 2009)

I think this is a good review. Dont see what all the fuss is about. Very good point about punk being imposing when it is criticizing something you do actively. Scores for the review, and score is inverse of what I imagine the album being.

itsAgiftANDaCurse (January 18, 2009)

This is a solid pop-punk album.

martinNZ09 (January 18, 2009)

Open Your Eyes had to be the most annoying/high horse song

Since then Goldfinger have been dead to me

NotPatriotic (January 17, 2009)

hahahaha, is this first paragraph serious? Scratch that, is this whole review serious?

Spooky (January 17, 2009)

I know it's about his son and all, but "Julian" is one of the worst songs I've ever heard. Score is for the song.

dowrongright (January 17, 2009)

didn't this record come out like ten years ago? what i find really amusing is checking out what the people who talk the most shit have in their top ten lists and wondering how the fuck they can say anything. this band has always been great live, some of the better "punk" musicians working today but the lyrics are consistently awful. Black President shouldn't even be mentioned in this review considering they bear no resemblance whatsoever...oh yeah, and this reviewer is missing the point ENTIRELY.

friokir (January 17, 2009)

wow, what a shitty review, no constructive argumentation whatsoever. get up, goodbye and free kevin jonas are absolutely kickass songs.

CCSummers (January 17, 2009)

As much as we love to here your insane opinions on what okay to sing about in punk rock, why don't you just review the fucking album. This is not only offensive, it's also just a crap review. I don't know how anyone is suppose to take these opinions seriously.

Tyler_whore (January 17, 2009)

This Album Sucks! With that said there is nothing more UN punk rock than bitching about someones opinion, so for all you "punks" complaining about this review shut up and listen to the album for your selves and formulate your own opinion if you don't like the opinion of the reviewer.

MN_punkmaster-skaman (January 17, 2009)

I actually think Open Your Eyes was the last good record they did. This one was really disappointing except for like... three songs. I haven't listened to it since the week I actually bought it. It's pretty much predictable Goldfinger the entire time. What a let down.

Hey_Asshole (January 17, 2009)

we get it, you disagree with feldman. who cares?
plus...Fuck Ted Nuget was a fun song.

i have not listened to this record...i may look into it

Rastid (January 17, 2009)

excellent review. completely agree.

14theroad (January 17, 2009)

This record is probably terrible, but I haven't heard it.
I used to cover "Miles Away" in my high school band.

But this review is most likely worse than the album itself.
We get it, you eat meat. Awesome. You point out how they're being preachy while you sit here being an asshole about it yourself.

I'm too tired to care. Review sucks. Band sucks. It's a wash.

10-4Eleanor (January 17, 2009)

"Stupid review clearly written by a asshole.

Also, this is a pretty terrible album."

On point.

Tudor (January 16, 2009)

Stupid review clearly written by a asshole.

Also, this is a pretty terrible album.

warmchords (January 16, 2009)

"I can't even imagine what you think of Propagandhi"

I have to echo this question. this review seems more of a review of goldfinger's ideologies and not so much the music.

jacknife737 (January 16, 2009)

This band gets way too much shit.

This album is decent; a step up from the one before it, but nowhere near their heyday.

That said, they do put on an amazing live show; i've never had more fun.

punk_rawk_show (January 16, 2009)

WTF are you serious

this is a great album, has a few shocking songs, but some bloddy great ones.

Get up is classic goldfinger, and catchy as all hell

telegraphrocks (January 16, 2009)

2nd most horrible album of 2008, right behind (or would that be in front of?) The Red Album.

Just. Crap.

The best song on here, "Get Up", is completely cheesy and embarrassing.

knifetrader (January 16, 2009)

Score is for "but Iíd rather barbecue an entire petting zoo"

Vinnie (January 16, 2009)

BUT...how great is "Superman" in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1? For that matter how great is whole damn soundtrack?!?!

slimpunk (January 16, 2009)

Wow, way to be 8 months late in reviewing this.

Cos (January 16, 2009)

This band has had zero credibility since day one. I can't believe they're still going.

red_eye_inc (January 16, 2009)

anyone who thinks this band's first two albums are perfect should be dragged out into the street and shot. That being said, anyone who thinks they should "return to their roots" should go check out that Electric Love Hogs album to see what their roots really are.

wyzo (January 16, 2009)

"Itís all well and good moaning about the government and the media, but what if you imply that a fundamental aspect of life that you take for granted is actually evil -- an aspect that you actually take pleasure in and have no intention to alter."

Racism, sexism, gay bashing, all "fundamental" aspects of life for many people.

By fundamental, do you mean unquestioned? So you have no problem with preaching, it just has to be to the converted, and cover safe topics?

This is the dumbest thing I've ever read on this site that was meant to be taken seriously.

that said, goldfinger is atrocious, and the lead singer invented his band and persona, look it up on the webs.

-w

kevinh (January 16, 2009)

And frankly, the fight for animal rights doesn't indicate a flaw. If anything, it is EXACTLY what the punk rock spirit is about. Standing by your unpopular views even in the face of almost total disagreement.

kevinh (January 16, 2009)

So, you're saying that it's ok for a punk band to bitch about things and be crass and ineloquent so long as it isn't something that you do? If he is a vegetarian and for animal rights, he has every right to sing about it. Just because you don't agree doesn't make it a flaw with the music.

Government, media, corporations, religion... that's all ok, but animal rights is where the line gets drawn? Don't get me wrong, I think this record mostly sucks, but this CD review seemed like nothing more than a vehicle for you go rant about those who rant about animal rights.

I can't even imagine what you think of Propagandhi.

fallingupwards84 (January 16, 2009)

there's a couple memorable songs on this disc, the rest is garbage

this band needs to quit badly

niveK82 (January 16, 2009)

test!

niveK82 (January 16, 2009)

I listened to it once, thought 'this isnt as bad as the last few albums' but I never had the urge to listen to it again

TheMarc (January 16, 2009)

The fist half of this album was pretty all right. Not bad, not bad.

miniblindbandit (January 16, 2009)

fighting diatribe with diatribe.

XCARLUPANDDIEX (January 16, 2009)

after a couple of mediocre records I found this to be quite good.
thumbs up !

Fresnoska (January 16, 2009)

So what about the music?

mikexdude (January 16, 2009)

I guess my reviews aren't good enough for punknews anymore! Oh well...

I was never a big Goldfinger person.

inagreendase (January 16, 2009)

Eh, I thought this album was decent. http://altpress.com/reviews/1252.htm

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