Good Riddance – Thoughts and Prayers (Album Review)

Good Riddance – Thoughts and Prayers
Released: July 19, 2019

Line Up:

Russ Rankin // vocals
Luke Pabich // guitar
Chuck Platt // bass guitar
Sean Sellers // drums

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After a five year hiatus and the release of 2015’s Peace In Our Time, Good Riddance are back with Thoughts and Prayers, and it is very much what one would expect from the Santa Cruz band. Fast, melodic, and layered in social and political commentary, that doesn’t directly attack a specific person or policy, Thoughts and Prayers reflects the socio-political climate of the world in which we currently live in.

Opening with Gordon Gecko’s speech to Bud Fox about living in a democracy in Wall Street, ‘Edmund Pettus Bridge’ sets the tone of the whole album. Kicking off with a driving drum beat and insistent guitar riff, Rankin sings about how we should aim higher and still have hope for a better future. It is classic Good Riddance. Transitioning to a short burst of rapid punk rock with ‘Rapture’, the song is relentless in its beat and tone.

First single ‘Don’t Have Time’ follows, with its guitar slides and melodic chorus, it’s catchiness and slight pop-punk sensibilities (for Good Riddance, I am saying), make it clear why it was the first track released from the album. ‘Our Great Divide’ returns to the vigorous and unrelenting drums, and three chord progression, we have come to know and love from Good Riddance, while ‘Wish You Well’ slows things down a bit (again, I mean for Good Riddance), allowing the guitars and Rankin’s melodies shine through. The slight key change in Rankin’s voice during ‘Precariat’, along with the backing vocals provide a memorable tune, that leaves a lasting impression. ‘No King but Caesar’ starts with a grungy guitar riff that sets a desolate tone, before kicking into a traditional punk sound, warning the listener about being complacent in today’s day and age. ‘Who We Are’ continues the dire warnings about the world we live in while maintaining the brisk, up-tempo sound of the album, with a great guitar riff during the bridge.

An indignant and obstinate tone is evident throughout ‘No Safe Place’, that again, asks the listener to question their long-held beliefs and traditions. While ‘Pox Americana’ maintains the driving beat and expands on cautioning their fans about the world around them. Good Riddance’s first song in (mainly) Spanish ‘Lo Que Sucede’, meaning ‘What Happens’, allows Pabich to create an unforgettable guitar riff during the latter part of the song. While the album ends in ‘Requisite Catastrophes’ a song that nicely ties the whole album together.

Good Riddance are one of those bands that consistently put out great punk rock music, music that makes the listener think, and to perhaps reconsider the world in which they live in. The band never veer far from the sound that works for them, breakneck speed punk rock with a message. And it is because of this that Good Riddance fans will love this album, and those looking for more variety in their punk rock, will like, but not love Thoughts and Prayers.

good riddance - thoughts and prayers

Good Riddance- Thoughts and Prayers tracklisting

  1. Edmund Pettus Bridge
  2. Rapture
  3. Don’t Have Time
  4. Our Great Divide
  5. Wish You Well
  6. Precariat
  7. No King But Caesar
  8. Who We Are
  9. No Safe Place
  10. Pox Americana
  11. Lo Que Sucede
  12. Requisite Catastrophes

Rating: 8/10
Thoughts and Prayers is out July 19th via Fat Wreck Chords. Pre Order here
Review by Carys Hurcom @CarysWos

good riddance band photo

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