Music Picks

Bringing The Good News

Vancouver collective preaches danceable indie power pop.

By Thom Wong 31 Jul 2008 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong is a drone in Her Majesty's Service. He writes regularly about music for The Tyee, and can be found ruminating about the state of menswear at The Sunday Best.

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Will set your toes a-tapping and hands a-clapping.

We all know that MySpace has ruined people's lives, good design -- hell, the Internet itself. But MySpace, for all its numerous, numerous flaws, does one thing right: it gives you access to an artist's music without you having to buy the album, and makes a liar of anyone who says they download music "just to see if they like it."

Which is good news for bands like The Good News (guffaw), which, apart from MySpace, seem to have no Internet presence whatsoever. Google "the good news" and you're going to get a lot of Baptist verbiage dedicated to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which will disappoint music hunters not looking to convert the children of the world. Finding a band without a blog these days is a little like finding a Republican senator without undisclosed gifts, but kudos to The Good News for bucking the trend and making themselves that much harder to find.

Is the search worth it? It is if you enjoy power pop that will set your toes a-tapping and your hands a-clapping. The Good News does have the habit of sounding like a collection of all the latest indie tricks (such as on "StompApple," where the harmonizing and wailing can get a bit much), but that's a minor quibble when the songs are so danceable. From the thumping, New-Order-like "Backstage Underage," with its walking bass line and chirping keys, to the chugging guitar of "Oh Na Na," their songs should keep your bodies moving.

The Good News categorizes its music as Dutch Pop/Healing and Easy Listening/Hardcore, and it's hard to tell if they're just trying to cover all their search bases or if that is really how they hear their music. Either way, to these ears they share more in common with Dexys Midnight Runners than a twee Enya Fallout Boy collaboration, especially on the wonderfully manic "Our Love Is A Crime."

The Good News Vancouver's Richard's on Richards on Aug. 10.

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