Goodluck Jonathan - 'This Is Our Way Out' (Something Nothing Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 05:00

goodluck_jonathan_way_outBrighton five piece Goodluck Jonathan take their name from the current president of Nigeria, why is unclear, but it has apparently livened up their Twitter feed! Here they bring together a trilogy of EPs to form their debut long player, 'This Is Our Way Out', eleven tracks of brooding, socially aware, modern rock.


Opener 'Bruises Disappear', with its delay heavy guitars and effect laden vocals, builds slowly, it's atmospheric and modern sounding with a nice distorted spoken word mid section. It's an interesting start that shows some promise, the next few tracks, though, are pretty generic modern post-rock and don't really keep my attention meter anywhere near full.


'Fatman' opens with a great riff lifting the vibe, Nick Brookes' vocals wail almost John Lydon-like and fit the tune well. The drums are powerful and urgent giving the album the lift it needs. 'Away From Here' builds on a nice picked guitar riff and soaring sweet vocal harmonies; it's a nice contrast to the rest of the album, with a nice stop-start mid section, it's a highlight. 'Stop' is a slice of aggro-rock with smart lyrics, and my favourite track. The bass intro and the following snare are cool, the verse builds with bass and drums, the vocals here more punk tinged coming on like Donnie Tourette. The refrain of "You're not so fuckin clever" sticks in the mind, which is want we want more of.


The largely instrumental closer, and title track, is atmospheric with a poetic spoken word intro and closes things up nicely.


The trouble with bands claiming to "blur the lines between genres" is that they risk sounding unfocused, and this is the case with Goodluck Jonathan. The early songs are generally quite samey, with hints of At The Drive-In and even Bloc Party, their modern rock sound has all been done before, and there is not enough stand out material to keep the attention for a whole album. That's not to say it's bad, far from it, there is some good stuff going on. Several songs show traces of Placebo-like genius in amongst the modern rock sounds going on, but the vocal accent of Nick Brookes does get annoying on some songs.


The album is set in chronological order and does show their progression through the three EPs in a short period of time. A snapshot then of a band in progress, and as far as debuts go it's a decent effort. They have 3-4 stand out songs, given time maybe they can give us some more. 'This Is Our Way Out' could well be the ticket to brighter things for this young band.