Album Review: Goose – Synrise (2010 LP)

GOOSE album-headers

It’s been a while since their last release, but Goose is back… Bring it on!

I remember stumbling onto Goose many years ago at Parklife 2007 and loving the European synth punching electro indie punk geeks. I wasn’t sure how big they were and no one seemed to know about them, but it didn’t take long for me to be infected with their enthusiasm. I was stoked with the energy they threw out. Back then I was all about that indie synth driven bass with a bit of scunge stuck to the snare. Bring It On, their debut LP, was on repeat when I first got it and it gets a revisit on the bus quite regularly. It’s a bit nostalgic I guess. So when I saw a new LP, Synrise, was on its way, I got a little bit more than excited.

Mmmm, Goosetastic! The synths are still there, although there is a bit more pop this time. It’s also good to know they have kept the crunchy bass lines and delicious melodies too. There is even the odd sparkling high-five moment and some brilliantly bizarre and catchy lyrics that you’ll be singing in the shower, on the train, during lectures, whilst getting a haircut or playing scrabble (I don’t know what you cool cats do these days). Some sweet scaling harmonies interacting with an unmistakably Eurotrash vocal will always do it for me and Synrise has this in generous portions.

I feel as though Synrise has followed a more commercial path. It has a definite refinement that was lacking in Bring It On.  But if I’m honest, I liked that raw, scratchy feel of their first full-length release. The album is not overproduced, just lacking a certain edge. You can feel the pop oozing from every note. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in fact it will most certainly get into the ears of more people this way. I think I’d just prefer a bit more energy from the boys. Maybe some more low slung grunge in the tracks. But guess what?! They didn’t write the album for me!

I was expecting Goose of old but I was given something new. This new and varied flavour was a little confronting at first, given my preconceptions, but I have now acquired a liking for it. There are plenty of intriguingly different morsels on offer throughout the album. Synrise goes on a journey of sorts. Moving from sunshine and mirth to a darker place where artificial mechanisms rule. Along the way it pays homage to a collection of genres and artists. Chemical Brothers would be proud, as too would Klaxons, Soulwax (in either form) and even Simian Mobile Disco… These are not comparisons or what I think are their influences, merely a note of similarities.

Goose has taken a ride down a glittering street on a golden bicycle with huge handlebars, taken a turn into a dirty highway underpass with flaming containers and a mysterious yo-yo tournament with flares and big hair. Once they arrive they waste no time in getting right down to some hardcore street yo-yo antics while the crowd watches on amazed. It is a firm addition, if a touch belated, to the world of electronic indie disco pop rock. Enough of a genre rollcall for you? Well I’m sorry, but I don’t know how else to describe it. If I had to narrow it down I’d say pop, but I don’t, so I won’t.

Synrise sure gets a ‘rise’ out of me, ha! 7/10