Ride The StormRed Scare Industries
By Bobby Gorman
I don’t know how Toby Jeg does it, but Red Scare Industries always seems to be the first to discover hidden talent before anyone else. Good Friend‘s debut album, Ride the Storm, is further proof of that. Co-released with Gunner Records in Europe, the Newcastle-based trio have set the bar for debut albums here with a solidly determined punk album that fits right amidst the Red Scare catalogue.
With impeccable production quality, Ride The Storm kicks off with Rock Bottom Revival and right away you’re blown away. Vocalist/bassist Adam Carroll delivers his lyrics with a catchy scorn that immediately makes you feel like you’re singing “I Find Faith In The Radio” with a hundred strangers in a small dive bar.
It’s catchy and familiar yet fresh and raw – made for The Fest crowd but heightened by standing on the shoulders of giants. They take what The Menzingers started with on A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology and merge it with the speed of The Penske File‘s Burned into The Earth and Downtown Struts‘ Victoria. There’s Bad Religion‘s like “wo-ahs” in the background while tracks like Young Blood could be forgiven as being confused for a Red City Radio b-side.
The album is full of unrelenting sing-along’s (try not to sing along to his raspy, emotional delivery of “This world, has got me fucking cornered. I was bored and I will die here, but I felt nothing, felt nothing at all” during The Return of Fionn and the Fianna – I dare you), but they mix it up and pull it back in on The Curious Case of Hy-Brasil; that borrows a page from Captain We’re Sinking where Carroll sounds almost exactly like Bobby Barnett, particularly in the opening verse.
Good Friend show their influences on their sleeves but never feel like a tired knock-off. Sometimes they’re serious like Curse The Name which focuses on technical guitar work and stark, almost hardcore riffs. Other songs are just more fun like Daniel O’D and The Moonshiners that really brings up the Penske File vibe. Yet, as a unit, Ride The Storm works seamlessly together. They take breaths when they need to, like on the acoustic number Bar Flies, and pummel forward when the time is right; creating an album with a nice rhythm of ebbs and flows.
So while I don’t know how Toby Jeg keeps finding these gems, I’m sure as hell glad he is.