The Goon Sax: We're Not Talking (Wichita) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Goon Sax

We’re Not Talking


Sep 17, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

If you didn’t know better, you’d think that Brisbane’s The Goon Sax were lovable amateurs on the road to maturity. And there’s some merit to thatthough still a jangly tangle of adolescent nerves, We’re Not Talking bumps the trio into even brighter paisley territory as they explore the friction and ache of a couple’s first breakup. But don’t get too gushy: Louis Forster (son of Robert Forster) writes these diary entries in his father’s shadow, and songs like “She Knows” and “Love Lost” still echo his Go-Betweens heritage.

Try not to think too hard about that, though. Consider, instead, how Forster often lets his pals from high school, James Harrison and Riley Jones, lead the wayespecially the latter, who shares the flip side of the stalemate whenever she comes in (one of the loveliest introspections on the album, “Strange Light,” is all hers). Consider, too, that songs like “Make Time 4 Love” and “Sleep EZ” showcase a keen ear for the perfect balance between tenderness and tension, a hallmark of other indie stalwarts like The Chills or Orange Juice.

Most importantly, though, try to empathize. The Goon Sax have a knack for nailing down intense and conflicted emotions with the simplest gestureslike when Forster cries on the bus as it drives by his lover’s house on “We Can’t Win,” or how Harrison asks “is that okay?” as he admits that he’ll never meet her expectations on “A Few Times Too Many.” Even if Forster had a head start in his craft, he and the other Goons aren’t taking any shortcutsthese are the hard-earned lessons of a band still tossed by youth, still fine-tuning both their chops and their compassion. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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