Goan Dog’s aren’t a band new to the game. Conceived in 2010, the Bristol-hailing five piece has been making music for the best part of a decade, but Call Your Mum is their first studio album.
The band describes their sound as “warped guitar pop”, which does a good job covering what you’ll find on this debut. Catchy and synth-edged, I get flavours of Glass Animals, Django Django, and even a touch of Röyksopp. Luke St Leger’s smooth, at times delicate vocals pair with fizzing pads and textured leads alongside strong basslines and wavering guitar hooks to produce something captivating.
Right off the bat, you’ll get a sense of the earworm-worthy riffs on offer. “Anxiety” has a chorus that keeps pulling me back to the top of the tracklist. From here on, Call Your Mum continues to serve up characterful, busy guitar pop for a solid 40 minutes. “God Loves a Trier” remains a favourite, lurching and lumbering into a bass-driven groove with some unexpected chord progressions, while “Shut Up” takes the minor annoyance of a chatty party guest and spins it into a funky, eerie romp. A feat only achievable with the British allergy to confrontation.
A debut this may be, but the decade of work shows through nevertheless. Production is slick, lyrics are self-aware and never too try-hard, and instrumentation leaves me wanting more at the end of each listen. In fact, if I were being picky (and it looks like I’m about to be) Call Your Mum almost pulls in too many directions, and with a wealth of styles on show I’m left wanting to hear a lot more of each. That’s not a bad problem to have, however, and with the buzz around them in the run-up to this release, I’m hopeful we’ll be seeing more of Goan Dogs in shorter order.
With a string of UK live dates booked for summer of this year, I’m looking forward to seeing some of this material played live. For now, Call Your Mum makes for an excellent album, and some excellent advice to boot. I'd echo others in saying this is a band to watch this year, and certainly recommend taking a listen.