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Good Old War

Good Old War

Broken Into Better Shape

Nettwerk Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Good Old War struck gold early in their career with the indie-rock hit, “Coney Island.” The breezy tune became a lasting staple for those in the acoustic-pop scene, although Good Old War remained largely under the radar, content with their humble home on Sargent House Records for two more releases. Now on their fourth full length, Broken Into Better Shape, the band has teamed up with Nettwerk Records, mirroring their label departure with their biggest sonic shift to date.

 As is clear from the get go, Good Old War has entered an ambitious new stage of artist development. Broken Into Better Shape depicts a band successfully traversing a major stylistic crossroads without alienating the already loyal fanbase that has amassed from Good Old War’s feverous touring history. Rest assured, Good Old War’s strummy, crisp acoustic nature remains every bit as intact as their earlier work, but with the addition of several glowing new layers. As quickly becomes clear, the band doesn’t hold back on opener “Tell Me What You Want From Me.” All of the acoustic harmonies, handclap-propelled percussion and Keith Goodwin’s unmistakably airy vocals remain the core of the experience (think Human Highway). But it’s the added layer of production that really defines Broken Into Better Shape. Subtle vocal effects coupled with minor electronic and pedal work all slowly swells into one of the catchiest displays of Good Old War’s career. In fact, the band has always been a case of less is more, and the philosophy transfers well to the tapestry of their expanding mosaic.

 Other notable standouts flourish from the record’s revisionist mandate. For example, “Fly Away” introduces a big, baritone hum that sweeps under light melody in the same vein as Electric Owls, whereas “Never Gonna See Me Cry” employs understated flourishes in complement of heavy acoustic strums. Meanwhile, the pitter-patter pace of “Broken Record” further expands upon a legacy of overlapping fore and background vocal interplay, but in a much more direct approach. It’s the same Good Old War you’ve come to know and love, but with lovingly crafted accents shining brightly.

 While Broken Into Better Shape may play to bigger stages, Good Old War is sure to include plenty of classic moments too. “Small World’s” percussive tapping, finger snapping and hand clapping remain bound by a symbiosis of acoustic fortitude and Goodwin’s intimate, wispy way with words that handily pulls off intimate passages like “I know a place where we can go, it’s not impossible to be alone, it’s in a hidden place that can’t be found, there’s no one else around in this small small world.” “Dark Days” and “I’m The One” offer similar levels of shear acoustic bliss, boasting smooth, sing along harmonies propped up by cushions of transitory piano keys. Even when all dressed up in a shiny new suit, Good Old War continues to draw parallels to their “Coney Island” days.

Up until this point, Good Old War has played a fairly conservative game from album to album, but Broken Into Better Shape breaks that trend. Without speaking negatively of their past (none of their albums disappoint), Good Old War is in hot pursuit of a new levels of musicianship. By melding the magical sonic warmth inherent in their acoustic approach with broader, more diverse ambition, Good Old War has produced what could very well be the breakout record of their career.

Good Old War Announce New Record And Tour

GoodOldWarGood Old War has announced that they will be hitting the road this Spring.  The band has also made known that they will be releasing their next full length this Summer via Nettwerk Music Group.

The band last released Come Back As Rain in 2012.

Tour dates are below.  The band will be touring with their their original drummer.

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Good Old War Performs On Jimmy Kimmel Live

Good Old War recently performed the songs “Loud Love” and “Better Weather” on Jimmy Kimmel Live.  The tracks come from their recent full length, Come Back As Rain, released earlier this year on Sargent House Records.

Watch the performance below.

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Video: Good Old War On Conan

Good Old War recently performed the song “Better Weather” on Conan.  The track comes from their recent full length, Come Back As Rain, released earlier this year on Sargent House Records.

Watch the performance here.

   

Good Old War – Loud Love (Live)

Good Old War has released a live video of the band performing their song “Loud Love.”  The track comes from their recent full length, Come Back As Rain, released earlier this year on Sargent House Records.

Watch the performance below.

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Good Old War Streaming New Full Length

Philadelphia folk poppers Good Old War have launched a full album stream of their upcoming full length.  The album is titled Come Back As Rain, and is due out March 6, 2012 via Sargent House.  The album follows their 2010 self titled album.

Stream the album below.

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Good Old War – It Hurts Every Time

Philadelphia folk poppers Good Old War have debuted a brand new song.  The track is titled “It Hurts Every Time” and currently sits as a stand along single available as a free download on Bandcamp.  The band continues supporting their sophomore self-titled full length, released last year on Sargent House.

Download the song here.

   

Tours: Good Old War

Philadelphia folk poppers Good Old War have released a string of brand new tour dates.  The tour kicks off in March and runs right through most of April.  The band continues supporting their sophomore self-titled full length, released last year on Sargent House.

Full tour dates can be found below.

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Good Old War – Calling me Names

Philadelphia folk poppers Good Old War have debuted a brand new song.  The track is titled “Calling Me Names” and currently sits as a stand along single available as a free download on Bandcamp.  The band continues supporting their sophomore self-titled full length, released last year on Sargent House.

The new tune can be heard here.

Tours: Good Old War

Philadelphia folk poppers Good Old War have annaounced a string of new tour dates in November and December.  The band continues supporting their sophomore self-titled full length, released last year on Sargent House.

Tour listings can be found below.

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Video: Good Old War – Coney Island (Live)

Philadelphia, PA Indie-folk act Good Old War recently stopped by Hurley for a quick acoustic session.  The track they played, “Coney Island” (editor’s note: it’s actually the track that first sold me on the band) originates from their first album, The Only Way to Be Alone.  The band released their self-titled sophomore follow up on Sargent House Records earlier this year.

Check out the video below.

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Video: Good Old War – That's Some Dream

Philadelphia folk poppers Good Old War have released a new video for their song “That’s Some Dream.”  The song comes from the band’s sophomore self titled full length, released earlier this year on Sargent House.

Watch the video below.

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Video: Good Old War Acoustic Sessions

Acoustic indie folk act Good Old War recently sat down with Alter The Press while on their first tour in the UK for a couple acoustic sessions.  The Philadelphia based band played two tracks from their self titled sophomore effort, “My Own Sinking Ship” and “That’s Some Dream,” released earlier this year on Sergeant House Records.

Watch the band perform both tracks below.

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Good Old War Streaming Self Titled

Philadelphia’s Good Old War is previewing their upcoming release on their myspace.  The album serves as the band self titled full length and sophomore effort and is due out next week via Sergeant House.  The album serves as the followup to 2008’s Only Way To Be Alone.

Give the album a listen here.