Many bands have been far better than their terrible moniker – Biffy Clyro and Smashing Pumpkins have headlined festivals despite having staggeringly shit names, and for a moment in the early 2000s, people seemed perfectly happy to buy records by a band called Puddle Of Mudd. Cleveland, OH’s The Goonz have chosen for themselves a name evoking the dreadfulness of the aforementioned, sounding a bit like a group formed by the weasel mobsters in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’. Thankfully on ‘Death Is Purpose’, the product outshines the handle.
This debut full-length has actually been out since August 2012, earning them prestigious support slots for the likes of 90’s metal legends Helmet and Brit punks Gallows. The band play an uncompromising confrontational style of punk rock meets melodic hardcore – think The Bronx if they took away their languid swagger and replaced it with the thrashy dynamic of latter-day Comeback Kid or Evergreen Terrace. ‘3011’ kicks off the record in frantic fashion, with guitar licks squealing under vocalist Chris Wright’s Caughran-esque hoarse yell.
Midway through the record, tracks like ‘Future Enemies’ and ‘Stronger Than I’ the latter boasting a gargantuan riff set to roll around your head for days on end after. This record is a perfect example of a band staying within their own limits – no track goes beyond 3:30, this is 12 tracks of no-nonsense rip-roaring, adrenaline rush-inducing punk rock muscle. Where it’s not especially memorable, it’s not exceedingly derivative either, which is far more than can be said for a lot of punk bands around today. If anyone’s looking for a soundtrack to a good time, or simply an alternative to the nauseating, whiny pop-punk infiltrating the scene, look no further.