When James Harrison, Louis Forster and Riley Jones released the debut Goon Sax album, ‘Up to Anything’, in 2016, they were 17 and still at school. It was a gentle blast of lo-fi indie punk, with charmingly nervous lyrics about growing up and finding out who you are.
Its follow up, ‘We’re Not Talking’, sees this Australian trio turning 19. And as anyone knows, a lot can happen in two years.
‘She Knows’ is a prime example of their newfound maturity. Chock full of frenetic energy, catchy rhythms and captivating melodies, it sounds like Young Marble Giants coving the Human League. The strongest tracks here are the ones when Riley gets vocally involved; ‘Sleep EZ’, ‘Til the End’, ‘We Can’t Win’ and ‘Losing Myself’ are immediately elevated beyond the sums of their parts by her presence.
She also takes the lead on ‘Strange Light’, a vulnerability and honesty to her tales of adolescent love, loss and redemption. On ‘We’re Not Talking’, The Goon Sax are at their best when asking questions and trying to work out their existential angst, rather than giving definitive answers.