Goodbye Sluggo - Frampton Comes Alive! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Goodbye Sluggo

Frampton Comes Alive! (2008)


Although they hail from Massachusetts, high school chums Goodbye Sluggo sound like a band that I, a Pennsylvanian, would have loved to have grown up with. See, to me, the band strikes a balance between The Loved Ones and Atom and His Package. Maybe it's the mix of power chords and synthesizers, or gravelly and nasally vocals. Or maybe it's because, like The Loved Ones and good ol' Adam Goren, Goodbye Sluggo is pretty gosh darn good.

The band self-released an EP, Frampton Comes Alive!, back in April, and for the most part, it's a keeper. As far as recording quality goes, it's kind of limp, lacking a lo-fi edge or a hi-fi clarity and oomph. Goodbye Sluggo's tunes, however, are still mighty tasty despite the presentation.

"The Record Song," arguably one of the top two tunes on this seven-song disc, kicks off Frampton. It's frontloaded with some trusty punk chords, with a dash of synth over it a la The Low Budgets (yet another in a series of Philly references! Huzzah!). Again, the recording quality is a little weak, but I hear the promise of a much more pounding rendition in a live setting. Lucky for me, GS will be playing my chunk of the East coast in August.

Track two, "Hard to Find," offers Frampton's catchiest chorus. Co-vocalists Matt Flynn and Eric Cline attempt to muster up reasons to wake up early, like scoring the leftover Chinese food in the fridge, or generally proving to your roommates that you are, in fact, not dead. But as the chorus states, "It's getting harder and harder to find reasons to get up in the morning."

The EP missteps on the next song, "Stranger," but only because it blatantly bites off of Strike Anywhere's "Sunspotting." I keep shouting, "Instigate awake / overcome mistake," while this is on my car stereo. And I'm always wrong. Also, people look at me funny. "Stranger" is the only derivative tune, though. The rest of the EP, which boasts a literary love song (the please-let-this-be-literal "Stephen King Rules") and anti-douchebag anthem "Your Boyfriend's Nü Emo," is solid. I hate it when music reviewers say an album shows promise, as it often sounds like a backhanded compliment, but gosh dang if Goodbye Sluggo doesn't have my attention. Here's hoping they stick around long enough to melt my face live and maybe even drop a full-length or two.