Brought to you by The Corner and NZ On Air, Awesome Feeling 8 is an online event running through NZ Music Month 2014, culminating in the release of a free downloadable compilation of 12 New Zealand songs and the words written about them. Every couple of days, we’ll be posting streaming+downloadable tracks from emerging local artists, accompanied by artist and track profiles authored by Corner contributors.
If this guy’s various other musical things – be them the stoner-post-hardcore band Caroles (who we featured in last year’s comp), or the beats of his nom de électronique Career Girls — can be sure-mindedly certified as ADHD as all shit, then this right here is some musical Ritalin. For those that need the stuff, anyway.
Not the stamp of Kerosene Comic Book collective or their 420-joke ID is to be found here; this is Lawrence Goodwin all on his prolific lonesome, and it shows. “Let’s go out on Saturday night,” ‘Time Of Year’ suggests, seemingly oblivious to the downward chug-chug-chug bass-spiral that is to smack everything in the face one moment later. (And if your attention still isn’t sparked, then head out and watch the Cheats live band — all five or six of ‘em, not discounting their 12-stringer and a goddamn live percussionist — and you’ll know what I mean).
‘Time Of Year’ induces a feeling of paranoia that was no doubt inspired by the bad vibes of a haunted ex-brothel in which the singer once lived. (I lived there, too – the place was fucked). This track lives a tortured existence, its bad energy coursing in the space between instruments in a puzzlingly proggy arrangement. You’d recognise this from the direction the Beach Boys took after Brian went crazy and before Dennis drowned. You also wouldn’t be wrong for thinking of another crazy, Syd Barrett, whose former band I’ll hasten to mention is deep-embedded in Lawrence’s varied musical subconscious.
Proof of the smallness of the community in which these youthful folks take part: Daniel McBride, who currently balloons as Sheep, Dog & Wolf, provides a coupla saxophonic interludes to break up (and thus intensify) the ghastliness within ‘Time Of Year’. Elsewhere on the Cheats album feat.’s LG’s southern-part counterpart Lisandru Grigorut, who shares with him not just the initials but also credentials as a sure-minded (and neurotic) output-a-holic via $noregazZzm, ex-TFF, and newly & chiefly, Sexxx Haus (who just splat with Career Girls, if we’re driving points home here.) His band-bud, flat-mate and best-bro Hugh Piesse creates bedroom tunes as Alec that goes just as heavy on the washed-out, and doesn’t spare the sentimentals either. Since that’s two-thirds of the band Caroles I’ve mentioned, I won’t miss out Reuben Winter, whose latest (of thousands) of projects looks inward — and less explosively — in the popu-tronic realm of Totems. Attic Sky’s (who we covered a while back) rounds up some of the list that LG has himself indebted to, a spirited pop-punk band with a declared small-town friend-group mentality. And it is this theme, and these dudes, that Cheats songs like ‘All My Friends’ try their best to not forget.
Even where the lyrics of Cheats are self-minded, it’s an unnarcisstic affair; if I’m right about some of these lyrics being about LG’s longtime-boo Pearl, I’d call them ‘heartwarming’ if my wicked heart had not shriveled long ago. You get the message, anyway: These songs all lip and tongue about real (god damned) shit. And as I recline in my sociology-equipped armchair, this notion tips my fedora in a certain direction: perhaps the sentimental sounds of LawGood and friends signifies a youth-turn from the sharp and scuzzy (yet hypocritically ambiguous) motive of earlier young-punk sounds to a now more sincere outlook. This shit is great, so let’s fuckin’ hope so, mates.
Download previous Awesome Feeling compilations: