Album review: Good Daze debut is funky, fresh
Sun Star Reporter
Local band Good Daze released their debut album, “Germ of Creation,” over the summer, and let me tell you something: it’s good. It’s raw (under-produced), but solid. If anything, the fact that it’s under-produced makes it feel more authentic, especially if you know the band.
The band is composed of James Bartlett, Isiah Kane, Jason Hersey, Samuel Grueson, Joel Mosier and front-persons Karlan Bachmann and Mason Little. Everyone plays an instrument and almost everyone sings.
“Germ of Creation” is a loose album that covers a wide range of sounds. It is tied together by Bachmann’s violin and Little’s well, everything. Little plays guitar, bass, banjo and trumpet, depending on his mood and on the song. At various points throughout the album, a listener will hear a penny whistle (Bachmann), a mandolin (Kane), keyboards and a Jew’s harp (Hersey).
A Jew’s harp? It’s okay, I didn’t know what that was either until a quick hit of Google fixed my problem. A Jew’s harp is a small harp that is placed into the mouth and plucked to create the desired sound. The name is a misnomer as it is found world-wide and has no particular connection to the Jewish people.
The band’s sound is hard to pin. Some songs have a distinct bluegrass sound, while others feel more like Guajira (Cuban folk music). Regardless, the sound is subtly funky. Then, there are songs like “Anarchist Revolution” and “Across the Ocean” (which are sung almost entirely in Spanish) that sound distinctly European. I don’t mean Europop or the musical stylings of Icelandic singer Bjork, either. “Anarchist Revolution” sounds distinctly like Russian folk music while “Across the Ocean” sounds like Soviet-era jazz.
Bachmann and Little’s voices are engaging and relatable, as are the lyrics they sing. It is difficult to pick out just one song, let alone several, that are particularly worth listening to. They are all worth several listens to. Although, my personal favorites have to include “Gimme Your Hand,” “Whiskey to Dream,” “Cosmic Fighting” and “Whatcha Gonna Do Now?”
I was at the Pub during this September’s Netherfriends concert when I ran into Bachmann and Little. I told Little that I’d dug the band’s sound and that I’d written a favorable review of one of their performances for the Sun Star. He smiled and promptly handed me a copy of “Germ of Creation.” “You can review it and say it’s fucking horrible, just promise me you’ll mention it’s our first album,” he said.
It’s their first album and it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard all semester. Buy it, love it and see them in concert. If you enjoy the sounds of Buena Vista Social Club, Sweating Honey, Doug Cameron and the Masada Quintet, then you will dig Good Daze’s “Germ of Creation.”