It is no secret that I am a sucker for blues rock and grunge. They’re genres that you’re bound to find creeping around on my iTunes playlist, whether it is the grungy alt rockers Pity Sex or South African blues rockers Shadowclub. They’re just two genres that have made themselves a permanent part of my soul. Imagine my delight upon learning that there is a band that combines the gritty nature of grunge with the sweeping melodies of blues rock.
My Goodness does this precisely while throwing elements of garage rock into the mix. The rock ‘n roll duo of Joel Schneider on guitar and vocals and Andy Lunn on drums thunders out of your speakers like something reminiscent of what you would have heard in some grungy dive bar in the ’90s. Their loud, thunderous rock ‘n roll sound is wrapped up in sweeping melodies that give it, what I can only describe as a body-rocking feel to it. It is the type of music you move your entire body to even if you’re not the dancing type.
Shiver + Shake thunderously opens with the self-titled track “Shiver + Shake”. It is a loud, in-your-face rock song that you’d expect from a band that plays arenas. Except, here is a relatively unknown band laying down a thunderous track that encompasses the old ethic of rock ‘n roll: keep it loud, keep it simple and have fun.
My Goodness unleashes the grunge demon inside them on “Back Again” with a skyscraper of a guitar riff opening the song while spitting unadulterated sex appeal. This song demonstrates their ease in stepping between loud grunge riffs and drums and a groovy melodic instrumental. The grunge demon raises its head further along the line in songs like “Pay No Mind”, “C’mon Doll” and “Hot Sweat”.
Their groovy blues-rock elements shine through on the likes of “Sweet Tooth” as the song opens with a twangy guitar riffs as Schneider’s voice cuts through in the most sultry way possible. The riffs bulk up for the main body of the song and chug on beneath Schneider’s voice .The riffs are imbued with a sense of groove and rhythm that make them irresistible to move your body to, even if it is just the tapping of your foot. This bluesy nature is further displayed in songs like “Hangin On”, “Letter to the Sun” and “Say You’re Gone”.
Two songs on the album display the duo’s softer nature. The first song is the melodic and low-key “Bottle”, which features the light strumming of a guitar and towards the end low-tempo snares and cymbals. It is a rather heartfelt and emotional song that showcases the serene nature of Schneider’s voice. It is one of those typical rock ‘n roll love ballads and may possibly be my favourite song off the album. “Lost in my Soul” features the gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar as Schneider’s is once again displayed quite brilliantly. There are moments when the song is backed up by the soft playing of the violin and faint drumming. This all adds to the heartfelt emotion of the song and also aids in picking up the pace slightly towards the end. It is also the closing song – rather fitting considering that it opened with a loud rock tune and is now closing with a melodic rock ballad.
My Goodness manage to blend the raucous nature of ’90s grunge with the groovy melodies of timeless blues musicians like Muddy Water. They provide you with a respite from the repeated amount of bands attempting to emulate The Black Keys, and also The Black Keys themselves. If you’re looking for the perfect music to accompany a warm evening spent with friends then I suggest investing in Shiver + Shake.