Good Looks: Lived Here For A While [Album Review]

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Good Looks
Lived Here For A While
Keeled Scales [2024]

Album Overview: Good Looks, an Austin, Texas-based quartet, is known for their empathetic rock songs. They gained attention with their 2022 debut Bummer Year. A significant challenge struck immediately after their debut’s release show when lead guitarist Jake Ames was severely injured in a car accident. This incident and Ames’ subsequent recovery profoundly impacted the band. Their just released album Lived Here For A While showcases their strengthened unity and vibrant live energy. Lived Here For A While is a collection of ten intense tracks written before Ames’ accident but recorded afterward. The album’s creation was marked by a period of uncertainty and healing. Despite these challenges, the band’s commitment to their music and each other shines through, resulting in a record filled with raw and direct performances. This type of “don’t take anything for granted” type of delivery gives each song here a different kind of energy that just circles you when it is played.

Musical Style: Good Looks embraces a newer mix of indie rock on their new album, moving away some from the Americana influences of their previous work. The sound is characterized by energetic and vibrant guitar riffs, combined with dynamic band harmonizing choruses.

Evolution of Sound: Compared to Bummer Year, Lived Here For A While marks a shift to a more assertive and expansive sound. The new album trades in the softer, more traditional tones of their debut for a bolder, more eclectic mix of indie and heart on the sleeve rock elements.

Artists with Similar Fire: Fans of Austin bands like Big Thief, with whom Jordan and Ames share a personal connection, and groups like Loma and Cross Record, might find a similar appeal in Good Looks’ music. Their indie rock has similar grooves to MJ Lenderman, Pinegrove and Hop Along.

Pivotal Tracks: Key tracks include my favorite on the album in “Self-Destructor” with its compelling, danceable lead guitar, and “Can You See Me Tonight?” which features a memorable riff and poignant chorus. Another notable song is the foot tapping opener “If It’s Gone,” which tackles themes of heartbreak with a refreshing and graceful perspective.

Lyrical Strength: Tyler Jordan’s lyrics on Lived Here For A While explore themes of familial and romantic relationships, personal growth, and emotional resilience. The songs reflect on how relationships can be both challenging and uplifting, offering a candid and thoughtful look at human connections and personal healing. They also take on a new life knowing what the band has been through.

Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Keeled Scales

Thomas Wilde

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