Tuesday 21 April 2020

Said Goner - Said Goner

Labels: Ancient Injury Records/Sieve Sand Records/Zegema Beach Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 17 Sep 2014


1. Unframe
2. Cull The Bastards
3. Brainstem
4. Yo Soy Capitan
5. These Bloody Days
6. Hum
7. Baby, I'm A Terrorist
8. At Home
9. Broken Boughs
10. Let Me Sleep
11. My Life In The Knife Trade (Boysetsfire Cover)

I feel like I've done enough today to justify writing this review. I mean that in the sense that I'm allowing myself the time. Also, I panicked when I realised that Dave was a mere three releases behind me in his "Out Past The Rings" video series, so in a bid to stay ahead of him (if only for a little while), I'm focusing my energy on the first LP from US solo lo-fi punk/folk band Said Goner. It was released back in September 2014 via ZBR and also with US label Ancient Injury Records and French label Sieve Sand Records. It was pressed on 550 copies of clear w/black smoke vinyl and it has a Boysetsfire cover at the end, which sold it for me!

Drowning out the Alexa-chosen oldies booming out in the flat below me, Said Goner is my relief and not being unfamiliar with lo-fi solo projects like this, it’s perfect for a lazy evening as the sun sets. ‘Unframe’ opens the band’s self-titled album with a short and gentle song of acoustic guitar and clean vocals, which brings to mind Defeater at their acoustic best. The vehemently titled ‘Cull The Bastards’ is a full-band number and it sounds like a cross between bluesy Americana and 90s Brit-pop a la Oasis. Not what you were expecting I’m sure but variation is a good thing.

When you’ve mainly been listening to screamo/emo-violence for the last few weeks, Said Goner’s gritty folk rock is a breath of fresh air and ‘Brain Stem’ is a gloomy/grungy take on the genre. In between those full band songs, there are acoustic breaks such as ‘Yo Soy Capitan’ and to be honest, I wish they were longer. There’s something really earthy about them that sits right with me for some reason. 

‘These Bloody Days’ is a pensive and mid-paced punk song, set to a backdrop of melancholy and sad reacts. The vocals bring to mind a less upbeat Weezer, the guitars though provide melody and light while the bass and percussion add tremendous body to it. The ending with it’s feedback flows straight into ‘Hum’ with it’s gentle acoustics and homely vibe. The additional vocals add another layer of human feeling to the album, which tugs at your emotions. 

The bizarrely titled ‘Baby, I’m A Terrorist’ is a more raucous song altogether. Noisy punk and rock delivered in an old-school garage like fashion. It’s great fun and shows an added ounce or two of bite. ‘At Home’ soon banishes that with another slab of Americana and soulful blues-like guitar. Imagine it playing as the soundtrack to a Wild West shootout (ignore my primitive description) and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Towards the end, it leaves the Americana behind and gets louder and louder. It’s very stirring.

The penultimate original on Said Goner is ‘Broken Boughs’. Harmonica (at least that’s what it sounds like, I could be mistaken) rings out amongst the ever-present guitar and vocals to make for the perfect lonesome lullaby, while your deep in thoughtful contemplation. ‘Somnambulist’ is gloriously fragile and like the rest of the album, it’s a glimpse into the soul of it’s creator. 

Boysetsfire is one of my favourite bands period and it’s always great to hear other bands or people covering them. ‘My Life In The Knife Trade’ is one of the bands most poignant songs I think, which is made even more-so by Said Goner. It’s a cover that doesn’t try to change the song or be too clever, it’s sympathetic (if that’s the right word) but it has it’s own personality too. A great way to end an album that has so much life and so much to offer. Throughout the years of writing this blog, many full bands have caught my ears even if they’ve not appeared on it. Many of whom were not as meaningful as Said Goner. 

You can stream and purchase Said Goner via bandcamp below:-

You can still buy the physical LP from the links below:-

Zegema Beach Records (CAN/INTL) - http://www.zegemabeachrecords.com/
Zegema Beach Records (USA) - http://zegemabeachrecords.storenvy.com/

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