Good Friend - The Erin Rose [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Good Friend

The Erin Rose [EP] (2020)

Red Scare

I’ve never met the guys in Good Friend. And I’ve never seen them play live. I’m not sure if I even know what they look like. But I somehow feel like I know them, like I’ve hung out with them, drank whiskey with them, shared stories, and sang songs with them. And that’s thanks to the three songs on The Erin Rose EP, which somehow simultaneously makes me feel a little older and a little younger.

The first track, “Erin Rose Drinks on Shift”, is a lively punk rock tune. It opens with a slight overture of the chorus before sliding into the first verse with a contradictory, yet complimentary, distorted bass and clean guitar. It’s hard to highlight the strengths of this song because it is definitely drum and bass driven, yet the vocals are killer and the guitar fits perfectly. And though there are parts of the song that are repeated, the band keeps it fresh, by adding some different guitar picking in the second verse, slight variations in drumming in the chorus before and after the breakdown. And the lyrics, as in all of their songs, are vivid yet somehow steeped in ambiguity. I love the line, “I’m just a straight line’s away from home...I don’t think I’ll make it on my own.”

The flipside features “We’ll Burn That Bridge When We Get To It”, which has a similar structure as the first track, yet a fairly different feel, paying homage to ‘90s tunes with dynamic changes perfected by The Pixies and many others that followed. I love how the vocals start high, loud, and weathered and then decrescendo, all while the bass and drums play somewhat softly underneath. This perfectly fits the imagery of lyrics like, “Coming down like Autumn leaves, we’re falling in all these reds and these greens.” And like the first track, this song features a powerful chorus with a great hook, thanks in part to the background vocals.

The last track on the EP, “Rusted Friends”, a Billy Bragg type tune with just a guitar and vocals, is the shortest song on the record. I love the ups and downs of the vocals here, which matches the tone of the lyrics wonderfully. And while it is a vast departure from the first two tracks in both sound and structure, it fits really well. It is a perfect ending to a near perfect record.

I absolutely love the sound of these three songs. The drums, which are the driving force behind the first two tracks, are pounding and powerful. The distorted bass doesn’t steal any thunder from the guitar, which varies from delicate to powerful. And the passionate vocals sway back and forth between gritty and silky-smooth, all punctuated with a thick Northern Irish accent. Consequently, the band sounds fresh and young, yet somehow weathered and experienced. And after listening to this record, I feel the same way.