After four albums of expertly crafted pop punk, Remember Sports follows up last year’s epic Like a Stone with the first EP of their decade-long run. Recorded piecemeal in their respective homes, sometimes together, sometimes apart, Leap Day trades the live immediacy of their studio classics for something cozier, though no less rousing. The core trio of Carmen Perry, Catherine Dwyer, and Jack Washburn have always kept up active home recording practices for their solo projects-Carmen as Addie Pray, Catherine as Spring Onion, Jack under his own name-and here we find them gently folding sounds sprung from their bedrooms into their signature brand of basement rock.
Absent a dedicated drummer for the first time in their recorded history, the band opts for simple drum machine accompaniment, lending the music a fresh weightlessness even as Carmen’s arresting vocals and sharp lyrics bring gravity in all their righteous anger, scathing self-reproach, and disarming tenderness. Musically, all the thrilling guitar riffs and grooving bass lines we’ve come to expect are here, but the gradual recording process offered the band more opportunity to explore and experiment, adding on subtle layers of instrumentation, distortion, and electronics, and with them a warm sense of depth. In all, Leap Day is a short and sweet, loose but confident affair; at once a reminder of Remember Sports’ absolute mastery of the pop rock anthem and a tantalizing sip from the well of ideas they have yet to plumb
Come along and wake up on the way,” sings Goon frontman Kenny Becker, “orange shapes arrange and change again/quiet Isaac in a mild dream.” The lyric evokes the hazy dreamscape spaces occupied by the band’s new album, Hour of Green Evening. Goon began as Becker’s Bandcamp solo project in 2015. At a friend’s encouragement, Becker compiled the best of his tracks and released them as an EP, 2016’s Dusk of Punk. He recruited bandmates from his college buddies and released a second EP, all the while working on the band’s first full-length, 2019’s Heaven is Humming on Partisan Records, followed by the self-released Paint By Numbers 1, a collection of his mid-pandemic home recordings. The evolution of Goon has come to full fruition on Hour of Green Evening. It’s the band’s most complete statement, engaging all aspects of their sound to stunning effect. The album thrums with mystery, with the half-remembered past hazy as dreams, the mixed sense of comfort and longing for freedom so essential to youth.
Punk rock. Gock is love. Gock is life.