Review: Goodluck Jonathan – ‘This Is Our Way Out’

Emerging from a supposedly restless Brighton scene are Goodluck Jonathan, surrounded by field of hushed anticipation. This obviously begs the question of whether GJ were a well-kept secret really worth keeping.

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Their inventive and shifty brand of mathematical alternative certainly leaves an imprint but it is one of commotion as much as it is one of excitement.
The EP’s opener “Bruises Disappear” has a hypnotic repetitiveness as it subtly grows around garbled monologues, but when you start allowing the recording to absorb you the throbbing bass and rippling guitar lines that felt so persuasive in the opening seconds prompts you to a disappointing anti-climax.

But this is music created with purpose and intent and with that in mind it acts as a very deliberately ethereal lead-in to where Goodluck Jonathan really want you to be. There’s a sense of awareness, may it be political or social, filtered through an urban spirituality with a very distinct narrative. With a length span of only four tracks though you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a lot more on offer here, such as the band’s knack for detouring and building up and down throughout several shifts of pace and rhythmic passages within the same song.

But whilst their vision and ability is undeniable, at times their sound can easily wash over you in a bland mist without making any memorable impression. On the slow-burning closing track “Light Burn My Eyes” they re-use the the delay-infested guitar technique of “Bruises Disappear” but to the opposite effect where instead of lullabying you into their self-made revolution, it chimes like a less-harsh alarm siren that becomes irritatingly repetitive.

However, sandwiched between are Goodluck Jonathan’s finer moments. “Stranded” has a punkier feel with a simple but mesmeric synth-line that works to the band’s advantage of luring you in their “pound it into your head” style.

Perhaps the most accessible slice of GJ is when they’re at their most tender on “Broken Heart”. It’s post-punk revival base serves as a strong foundation for the added use of electronic instrumentation and a recycling of the walkie-talkie effects in “Bruises Disappear”. Despite it’s underlying softness, “Broken Heart” reveals a smart sense of swagger that may suggest to some the strongest track of the bunch.

Goodluck Jonathan aren’t the most instant outfit to emerge with such blazing hype, like a lightning flash of PR build-up plodded after by the rumbling thunder of the EP itself. It’s definitely a grower, but just don’t expect to be back-flipping with enthusiasm when it finally clicks with you.

6/10

Daniel Robinson

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