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Goonies Never Say Die

No Words to Voice Our Hopes and Fears

(Deep Elm; US: 12 Oct 2010; UK: 12 Oct 2010)

All in a Name

On the surface, the moniker of this outfit from Blackpool, England, seems silly. Naming yourself after a slogan from a muddled, mediocre kids adventure film from the mid-‘80s that happens to be well remembered by, generally, a bunch of geeks looking to reclaim their lost childhood seems at first blush to be silly and pointless. The name actually seems rather apt, however, when you listen to No Words to Voice Our Hopes and Fears, the group’s second album. It conjures up a spirit of adventure that actually feels quite natural in the context of the film. The band is ambitious, mining an instrumental sound (some may say a post-rock sound with metal overtones) that shifts song by song, sometimes within songs as well, like someone trying to climb a hill of gravel, only to have the silt sift away at their feet.


Ambition can be read in the wry titles, too, which include the unwieldy “Nothing Remains Forever Yet the Future Still Holds Hope”, “This Low Point Can Only Be Followed by a High” and (my favorite) “I Love You But in the End I Will Destroy You”. To cast some light on what the band actually sounds like, No Words to Voice Our Hope and Fears would be perfect as the soundtrack to Nintendo games from the ‘80s. That’s not because the Goonies sound eight-bit in any way, shape or form, but because the group brings a heft to the music that is triumphant, the sort of thing that would sound great as you mow down the bad guys while playing, say, Contra. What’s more, even though the band self-labels as a post-rock band, you can easily imagine vocals being laid down on top of eight of these 10 tracks—I say eight because one is a tinkly piano ballad and the other actually provides a spoken-word intro to the album, much in the same way that the voice-over bits worked on Titus Andronicus’ The Monitor. For the most part, No Words to Voice Our Hope and Fears is a wordless pseudo-metal album that doesn’t have anything to say at all. Nor does it need to. Just sit back, listen on headphones and listlessly drift away on the organic, victorious music contained within.

Rating:

Zachary Houle is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction, and the recipient of a writing arts grant from the City of Ottawa. He has had journalism published in SPIN magazine, The National Post (Canada), Canadian Business, OttawaShowbox.com and more. He also reviews books for bookwookie.ca.


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