Good Riddance - For God and Country (Cover Artwork)

Good Riddance

For God and Country (1995)

Fat Wreck Chords

Back before the internet made it so easy to find new punk rock we often relied on comps to introduce us to new bands. I will never love a comp as much as Fat Music for Fat People. I found so many good bands on that comp and one of them was Good Riddance. After hearing "United Cigar" I went and picked up For God and Country, and to this day it's one of my favorites.

Good Riddance were known for mixing melodic punk with more hardcore punk, and it comes across best on this album. Every song is driving and aggressive yet melodic and catchy at the same time. Later Good Riddance would suffer from compartmentalizing the different styles between songs, which could sometimes throw off the flow of the record. On For God and Country, every song is a great mix of these styles and the album flows wonderfully from start to finish without ever letting up, but also without ever blowing your face off.

This was their last recording with drummer Rich McDermott. I have often wondered what their later work would have been like if he had stayed. Anyways, he does an excellent job here--his playing is technically proficient without ever being too flashy. Chuck Platt fills out the rhythm section in sort of a bare-bones manner; at no point do any basslines really make or break any of the songs. Luke Pabich does a good job here as well. It's probably more the result of strong songwriting, but the guitar parts are very expressive and move the songs along. Different from later Good Riddance releases, they don't rely on octave chords on this album. Of course, Russ Rankin brings it with the vocals. On top of that, the intelligent lyrics really make you want to listen to what Russ is singing.

Like a lot of Fat albums in the '90s, this album was produced by Ryan Greene and he does a decent job here. Everything sounds nice and organic without sounding sloppy. Later Greene-produced albums were a bit overproduced, but this album is recorded just like it should be.

Overall, if you are a Good Riddance fan or a fan of '90s punk rock you should own this album. It is definitely what I would consider a classic.