Senior Discount – ‘And That’s Goodbye (Deluxe)’

By Rhian Wilkinson

Let us put this briefly: in track two, there is a harmonica. You can stop reading now if that’s enough information for you to make up your mind.

‘And That’s Goodbye (Deluxe)’ by Senior Discount is a self-indulgent EP release from a band who have never learnt when enough is enough.

On track one, the title track of the record, things start out just fine. It’s pop punk, it’s a bit gritty, some fuzz, and a hyper-Americanised overtly nasal vocal: this is all okay. What’s strange is that it sounds like it hasn’t been mixed at all. It is unclear if this is intentional, but it sounds like the guitars, bass and vocal were all recorded at once with the drums tracked separately.

On track two you’ll get a taste of what is to come, namely that these guys just don’t know when to stop with the unnecessary instruments. On the acoustic ‘Ataxia (Bluegrass)’ there is a wholly unnecessary violin; it just whines away without any real purpose on a song where the guitar really would have been enough.

The record really starts to dive into the realm of unbearable when at track five you receive a cover of ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’. For starters, this song is hugely problematic for a male-fronted pop punk act to cover, and given the genre’s propensity for ignorance about sexual consent, it’s just bad taste. The vocal is flat, the guitar tone isn’t right, and the mix is all wrong on the drums. There is a weird bled out female back up vocal that isn’t quite in time. When the bass and secondary male vocal kicks in, it seems to have reached the peak of incredulous lack of musical ability, but then they kick in a deathcore vocal style that briefly screams approximately one line of “girls just want to have fun”, then disappears.

This record is a perfect example of trying to do absolutely everything, and therefore doing next to nothing well. There are too many ideas crammed into almost every track, and it feels schizophrenic.

Redemption comes on ‘A Death Threat to the World‘. It’s a soft acoustic guitar track featuring solid harmonies and lyrics that are actually quite touching. If the whole record had been like it, the record would have been middling but a good listen.

Moral of the story? Don’t try to do everything. You don’t need Cyndi Lauper and a deathcore vocalist cameo – just do you.

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