Open your eyes; the usual message given off by most of today's punk bands. Open them to war, corrupt polotics, hate crimes...Or in this case, eating animals. Goldfinger is a four-man SoCal punk/ska group with an interesting lead singer. The PETA supporting vegetarian tries to tell his fans with this release (or rather the single 'Open Your Eyes') about cruelty against animals, and corporate ads. In my opinion, the attempt to do this got in the way of the actual music, and produced a mediocre Goldfinger cd.
The sound of this isn't what many people were used to after hearing the self-titled, and 1997's 'Hang Ups'. 'Open Your Eyes' features more screaming vocals at some points than I would prefer. The first three tracks of the album are not as phony and boring as the rest of the songs are; their not too shabby actually. songs like 'Going Home' and 'Spokesman' give off an earlier Goldfinger punkish vibe; and 'Open Your Eyes' is the track that ends that right away. The whole 'be alert, think of your surroundings, don't eat meat' idea adds to the occasional yelling, harder than usual guitars and drums and you begin to think: is this Goldfinger I'm listening to?
So the start of the album isn't too bad. But here's what I don't understand about this cd: If John Feldmann wanted to give a message about something he was trying to get out to his fans, why doesn't he carry it on through the rest of the album? The rest is mostly about love songs, songs about regret, and several feelings you would get when your 14 years old with an unsteady girlfreind. Tracks like 'Dad', 'Tell Me', and 'January' are all perfect examples of this sudden change of pace and meaning.
There are some songs here that you would recognize as being Goldfinger tracks; the pop-punk sounding, shorter humorous songs like 'Happy', 'FTN' and 'Radio' (which BTW is a great song). 'Woodchuck' is also pretty funny, the 45 or so second track of just heavy guitars and screaming about a woodchuck bird. The younger pop-punk feelings come back with 'It's Your Life' and 'Youth', but quickly dissapear with the true highlight of the album, 'Radio'. It has the feel to what an older GF track would sound like. The ending of the album, 'FTN', 'Prank Calls' and 'Wayne Gretzky' have the same old Goldfinger feeling as 'Radio' does, but minus the quality. Sometimes people say the end of an album is always a dissapointment; this is too true here. The prank call track is funny when you first hear it, but the jokes get old fast. And 'Wayne Gretzky' is just a sad attempt at an acoustic track.
After hearing this, I would not recommend it to anybody just getting into Goldfinger, and as for long time fans: the same goes for you. But I'm sure most fans have already heard this and probably sold it back to FYE...The only song I really think is a success is 'Radio'; defenitly download that one.
Guitar/Vocals: John Feldmann
Guitar: Charlie Paulson
Bass: Simon Williams
Drums: Darrin Pfeiffer