Spin - "Forster's wry monologues, James Harrison's indelibly circular guitar patterns, and Riley Jones' month-of-lessons drumming would ensure their place in history even if Forster's dad wasn't a Go-Between."
NME (Magazine) - "The Brisbane teenagers' debut album UP TO ANYTHING -- an endearingly simple and quietly profound telling of a suburban adolescence -- is near-flawless guitar pop."
Personnel: Louis Forster (guitar, keyboards, background vocals); John Harrison (slide guitar); Connor Beazley (harmonica); Liam Campbell (keyboards); Riley Jones (drums, percussion, background vocals); James Harrison (background vocals).
Recording information: Incremental Coorparoo, QLD (04/2015); The Plutonium Studio, Kelvin Grove, QLD (04/2015); Incremental Coorparoo, QLD (07/2014); The Plutonium Studio, Kelvin Grove, QLD (07/2014).
Photographer: Evey Skinner.
On their debut album, Up to Anything, Brisbane, Australia trio the Goon Sax tell pithy and insightful tales of teenage life over sparse musical backdrops that are reminiscent of classic indie pop bands like Beat Happening and the Cannanes. Formed by Louis Forster and James Harrison in the early days of high school, the duo soon added neophyte drummer Riley Jones to the band and began working on creating a simple, unadorned sound that features the two guitarist/bassist/vocalists trading off songs and instruments. Harrison's are more straight-forward and pleading, with his nasal vocals pushing at the jangling guitars and Jones' primal beats. Forster's are a bit more dramatic, slightly off-kilter, and arch, with his more seasoned voice sitting back in the mix. Listening to tracks like "Target" or "Sweaty Hands," which have fine left-field melodies and a unique worldview, it's not a great shock to learn that his father is Robert Forster of the Go-Betweens. Indeed, the Goon Sax share a great deal both sonically and lyrically with the earliest incarnations of that band. They are younger sounding for sure, with more down-to-earth and immediate concerns like haircuts, losing weight, sweaty palms on a first date, and ice cream, but that's part of their innocent charm. Sometimes the simplicity wears a little thin and it's easy to wish for the occasional more fully fleshed-out arrangement, but mostly the duo's stripped-down punch of the music, the youthful energy with which they all play and sing, and the bare, super-honest lyrics and vocals win the day. The little surprises here and there, like the Galaxie 500 quotes on "Anyone Else," the ringing bells on "Maggie," and the stop-start arrangement of the album's poppiest song, "Boyfriend," also help add some dimension to the album. It's an impressive debut, one that should easily win over fans of simple and true indie pop, and also one that promises great things in the future. ~ Tim Sendra