Sound — 9
Sixth album Hello Destiny sees the renowned Punk/ Ska band Goldfinger reunited with their original guitarist Charlie Paulson. Free from the ties that bonded them to their major label, Goldfinger joined forces with SideOneDummy to oversee the release of a record in which they promised a return to their roots. This is just as well since previous record Disconnection Notice was not what fans would call 'up to standard'. Luckily enough, Hello Destiny hits all the right marks as John Feldmann and Co. deliver their promise in true Goldfinger spirit. Hello Destiny starts off far stronger than any previous Goldfinger record. Premiere track 'One More Time' sounds less polished in terms of production than songs like 'Too Many Nights' or 'I Want' from preceding record Disconnection Notice. The guitars sound grainer and punkier, and complete with John Feldmann's signature pop hooks and vocals you have the perfect Goldfinger song. Second track 'Get Up' is laced with Ska riffs and horns. It brings back memories of fan favourites 'Superman' or 'Here In Your Bedroom'. Fifth track 'The Only One' is a full blown reggae track. Even though it slows the tempo and speed of the album as a whole, it maintains interest. The horns and Ska riffs throughout the song reminisce of Reel Big Fish at their peak. The next song 'War' is one of the strongest tracks on the album. It has great guitars that come close to sounding somewhat like the style of Quinn Allman's from The Used and has the overall feel of a Mest track pre-Photographs era. With ninth track 'Not Amused', fans are treated to a quick paced punk song that has hints of Rancid or Bad Religion in it. It even has a decent punk solo in it courtesy of Charlie Paulson. The only track which doesn't really co-exist well with the rest of the songs is 'Handjobs For Jesus'. With Bert McCracken lending his signature screams and a gospel choir ending, you're likely to shit your pants out of confusion. It does keep interest though, and in that respect it is successful.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on the album cover a wide range of topics from questioning religion (Handjobs For Jesus) to the conventional topic of love (The Only One) to freeing an activist (Free Kevin Kjonaas). The lyrics are good in the traditional sense of describing the vision or the message of the song well. It doesn't take you time to decode and think about what the lyrics mean, and in that sense they are a joy to listen to. People may instantly think that because of the genre Goldfinger find themselves placed in, the lyrics are going to be filled with rash lyrics and soggy rhyme schemes. This, I can gladly say, is not the case. Some of the content may not be groundbreaking, but the way Feldmann writes about them is thought worthy and appealing. For example on 'Not Amused', which is a track about being skeptic towards things you see and hear, Feldmann sings: We are not amused; We don't believe the evening news; We're not entertained by the brain of the spoiled and confused; And we are not amused. In track 'Goodbye', a dark song about suicide, Feldmann's originality again adds attractiveness to the song: I can't stop the war; I can't stop my death from happening; And my head's a morgue; I can't stop the worms from tunneling; Once they begin.
Overall Impression — 9
Right from the start when you hear Feldmann's voice sing Everyday is just the same before the guitars, bass, and drums kick in on opening track One More Time, you instantly know that Goldfinger are back as good as ever. The elements of desire, passion, and punk in those 5 words instantly tell you that Hello Destiny is going to be different to Disconnection Notice. The songs on the album go from strength to strength. From the slightly heavier song of Handjobs For Jesus, to the upbeat Ska of Get Up, to the sweet heartfelt acoustics of the bonus track Julian, this is an album that will be up there with the best of the Goldfingers records. Like having sex for the first time, it will be remembered.