This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by goad. The review was written by Dave Sugden in 2001.
goad are in lower case. Even on gig listings the band tell me that they begin with a small 'g'. A warning perhaps, so that you don't make any mistakes.
The three track CD opened up with "The Road", and immediate impressions were varied. From the very 80s rock-pop beginnings, the song didn't appear to vary that much as it progressed. I say "rock", but this was cleaner in its guitars than just rock, in fact it was almost a ballad in style.
What surprised me most as I mulled over whether I liked the music (I finally decided I didn't) were the vocals. Not what I expected at all - they certainly kept me focused as I was listening. They sort of didn't fit, but in that way that they fitted perfectly. Strange, but true. Licia Graves' vocals could probably make even the poorest of goad's songs stand out, which is a tribute. Even though the song had me cringing at times, it did highlight the strength goad possess when writing a chorus, an ability ever present in the demo.
"Orange Quilt", the second track, had much more going for it. A touch more acoustic in nature, it contained the same ballad ethic, though this time with more musical imagination, featuring original, interesting guitar riffs and progressions. Overall the guitars weren't overly technical but they did make me sit up and attempt to pick it all out. And of course, the vocals stood out again. "And my eyes roll, And my friends go, I'm left all on my own, And my eyes roll, And my friends go, It's just one more for the road" is delivered as a very catchy chorus. I enjoyed this track, it was their best track on the demo in my opinion.
Finally, "Why am I me?" closed the three-track demo. This was more like a progression of "Orange Quilt" than a return to the style of the opening track, which can only be a good point (I feel the band should move away from the style of "The Road", it doesn't do their ability justice). Building on the strengths the band showed in the previous track, goad certainly sounded more at home as the CD progressed. Whilst the final track didn't quite show as much overall, it again featured a sing-along chorus "I'm asking myself, Why am I me? Why are you, you? And she is she? I'm asking myself, Where to now? It's not me or you, Who will know how".
goad have ability, there is no doubt and they feature some good song-writing between them, but I feel they have poor judgement in not recognising which is their strongest song; unless it was a deliberate act to throw in a dated rock/pop song as an opener? And of course, I may be completely alone and it is my judgement that is poor...