For lack of a better intro, I thought I would start this review by saying that I do realize that this album has been reviewed already, and reviewed well, but it was a t-b-t, so I thought I would review this excellent album with my own little spin to it.
John Feldmann: Vocals, Guitar
Darrin Pfeiffer: Drums
Charlie Paulson: Guitar
Kelly Lemieux: Bass
These are the current members and I'm not completely sure that they haven't changed since this album, but now to the review.
Stomping Ground seems to be the album where Goldfinger forgot about their ska roots and became more of a punk band with a little pop tinge, which can be viewed as a good or a bad thing. The vocals are the first sign of this change in their style. John Feldmann does and excellent job as the lead vocalist, rapidly ascending and descending musical scales, he definitely shows his poppier vocal abilities, as in songs such as Carry On, Don't Say Goodbye, and Margaret Ann. Although he does show his poppy side, he hasn't quite abandoned his more punk rock vocal style, as you can hear in I'm Down, The End Of The Day, 99 Red Ballons(where John even sings in German), and You Think It's a Joke. The only song that seems to be a misfit in the vocal area is Bro, where the vocals are practically screamed and group vocals make up almost half of the song.
What would a song be without vocals though? Goldfinger does a great job with the lyrics of this album. The subject matter ranges from Girls (Pick a Fight) to War (99 Red Balloons, even if they didn't write the whole song) to pretty much not caring about what other people think (The End Of The Day). The lyrics fit perfectly with the vocals, and it seems as though the only way they will sound right is if they are sung by the harsh, yet melodic voice of John Feldmann. Very well done in the lyrics department.
With the vocals and lyrics showcasing the poppy side of Goldfinger, the instrumental work is where they maintain their punk rock sound. The guitars play fast, energetic, and highly catchy punk rock rhythms that go hand in hand with the vocal work, as heard in Counting The Days. Every once in a while, a solo pops up, as in songs like I'm Down, Margaret Ann, and the Nena cover of 99 Red Balloons. Bass is sometimes heard and more often than not, drown out by everything else thats going on, but when heard, the bass knocks your socks off. This ranges from a short intro found in You Think It's A Joke to and a very interesting line in 99 Red Balloons. The drumming is above average and fits into the rest of the instrumental work like a puzzle peice. It keeps the pace of every song perfectly, fast when it should be fast, slow when it should be slow, and altogether well rounded. Counting The Days is the best example of the excellent drumming on this album.
This album is an excellent mix of furious punk rock and happy and cheerful melody filled songs. The songs sound angry, happy, and even immature that make fun of people. Any fan of music with guitars and all that will love this album. If you can find it, make sure you pick it up.