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Album Review: Goldfinger – The Knife

September 15, 2017

I love Goldfinger.

I have since the first time I played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and heard their single “Superman” on the soundtrack. I would always restart the game over and over until their song came on again because it was the best one on the game. I immediately started buying all the music they had out at the time.

They quickly became one of my all time favorite bands. So you can imagine how nervous I was when I heard they were finally releasing their first album in NINE FREAKING YEARS and wouldn’t have their classic band lineup of John Feldmann on guitar/vocals, Minnesota native Kelly LeMeuix on Bass, Charlie Paulson on guitar, and Dangerous Darrin Pfeiffer on drums. Instead, replacing them with an all-star lineup of bassist Mike Herrera of MxPx, guitarist Phil Sneed of Story Of The Year, and drummer Travis Barker of Blink 182.

As it would turn out, I didn’t have much to worry so much. The album is absolutely incredible and stacked full of all the ska and pop punk tunes anyone could ask for.

In their somewhat self deprecating single “Am I Deaf” you find Feldmann wondering if his music could still be relevant, and reminiscing about what music meant to him growing up.

“You’ve been fighting with yourself again, It’s time to give up.  Brush your teeth, comb your hair, what’s left of it. Write a song, see a show, stay relevant. Sing along to The Jam feel young again.”

And…

“Music used to make me free, The Who, Black Flag, Dead Kennedy’s. Does anyone have something left to say?”

Another song sure to be a fan favorite is “Get What I Need” written with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones guitarist Nate Albert. It’s the first ska song on the album and is heavily driven by a horn section provided by musicians Matt Appleton, Billy Kottage, and John Christianson.

Two other songs that stood out to me were “Orthodontist Girl,” which doesn’t fit in with most other Goldfinger music, and is kind of weird, honestly, unless you’re in love with your dental hygienist.

“Your hand in my mouth, holding that tiny vacuum thingy. I hope my tongue doesn’t accidentally touch your finger, cause that would be weird.”

Yes, John, that would be weird.

The final song on The Knife is one that was written for Feldmann’s daughter Milla. Again, not the kind of song you’d expect to hear from the band. But I get it. His life is different than it was when the last few Goldfinger records came out. He’s a father now, and it’s sweet of him to write it for her and see to it that it made it to the record.

And even if she’s too young to get it now, one day, she’ll love it even more.

Like a lot of musicians, Feldmann has several musical influences coming across in each song – a sort of reggae influenced “Tijuana Sunrise,” punk rock anthem “Put The Knife Away” and some of my favorites, classic horn-driven ska tunes like “Who’s Laughing Now.”

The album also features guest song writing partners and vocals from several of the bands Feldman has produced in recent years – Blink 182 front man Mark Hoppus added his talents in the song “See you Around” (a personal favorite since they give a slight shout out to The Replacements song “Bastards Of Young”). Feldman also teamed up with 311’s Nick Hexum, Nate Albert of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, 5 Seconds Of Summer’s Luke Hemmings, and Taka of Japanese punk band ONE OK ROCK.

At the very least, Feldmann has plenty to say across” The Knife.” So Yes John, you’re still pretty relevant, and people will still listen to whatever you work on. You’ve only produced and wrote songs on some of the biggest releases of the last ten plus years.

It’s an album that anyone could get into, whether you’ve grown up listening to Goldfinger like I have, or would just be hearing them for the first time. So go find a copy of “The Knife” and pick it up, pick it up, pick it up… (That’s a ska joke in case you don’t get it.)

“The Knife”

  1. A Million Miles
    2. Get What I Need
    3. Am I Deaf
    4. Tijuana Sunrise
    5. Put The Knife Away
    6. Don’t Let Me Go – Feat. Taka
    7. Beacon
    8. Who’s Laughing Now
    9. Say It Out Loud
    10. Orthodontist Girl
    11. See You Around – Feat. Mark Hoppus
    12. Lift Off
    13. MillaRecommended listening: Get What I Need, Am I Deaf, Who’s Laughing Now, See You Around

 

By Andy Sundwall

SouthernMinn Scene | editor@southernminnscene.com |
115 5th Street West Northfield, MN 55057