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Good Riddance “My Republic” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

With the release of Good Riddance’s eighth full length Southern California-branded album, My Republic, there comes a continuation of a back-to-basics movement for the band (without ever neglecting the basics). Seemingly following the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it methodology the band continues to deliver a steady set of songs that persevere through a powerful duality; delivering a set of strong lyrics with an equally firm musical delivery.

The first exposure in which I was made aware of the band fell through the medium of the group’s music video, “One For The Braves,” which was in some sort of moderate exposure at the time on Canada’s Much Music. A strange side note: at the time, or around the time, lead singer Russ Rankin was engaged to then Much Music VJ Rachel Perry (forever after known as VH1’s Rachel Perry), neat huh? The group had some strange, unexplainable characteristic that separated it from the vast landscape of punk and pop-punk bands that were emerging at the time, and the band’s music continually interested through outgoing messages of political and social unrest. The band toured with the likes of No Use For A Name, AFI and Sick Of It All while continuing to record and introduce their sound and words to new global audiences, and in doing so was allowed to continue to mature and grow with the audience, rather than as a strict result of the band’s environment.

If there were to be a fault with My Republic, it would not be that of Good Riddance’s in this case, but of the genre. How can punk stay musically vivid with such narrow boundaries? The band counters with the conclusion expressing that the limits can be countered by ensuring that there is a continual expressive motive driving the music. It may be fashionable to question talking heads and bloated leaders in this day and age, but it’s easy to forget that Good Riddance have been creating such recordings for over a decade.

I’ve been a firm believer that if music can sound good and come off as even mildly creative and have a pure expression or relate valid emotions, it is strong music, no matter what the genre or content. In doing so the members of Good Riddance find themselves apart of a movement to reclaim the term punk for more than a fashionable descriptor, and in doing so, My Republic succeeds.