There was a time when life was simpler, I had less responsibilities and I couldn’t handle my booze. The informative period of my life I am of course referring to are my student years.
It was during this period, 2006 to be precise, that I was introduced to the music talent of a few of cheeky chaps from Belgium. You might remember them for their tracks ‘British Mode’ and ‘Black Gloves’ which appeared in a whole host of adverts after the release of their debut album, ‘Bring It On’ (nothing to do with the film of the same name which sees Kirsten Dunst leading a group of cheerleaders, which I coincidentally am also a fan of).
Since then Goose have been missing from the European electro scene, and it turns out whilst they have been hiding in an underground bunker somewhere in the lowlands like a bunch of Chilean miners, slowly amassing cash from advertising royalties the band have also been working on a new album, ‘Synrise’.
To quote band member Mickael Karkousse, “In some ways the album is like a soundtrack for a movie that doesn’t exist.” Indeed the album does have a very strong late 80’s sci-fi film feel to it, not unlike Vangelis’ work on Blade Runner, but with a euro house like kick. This is particularly evident in the title track ‘Synrise’, which features vocals from Peaches and the final track on the album ‘Staring’.
Goose – Synrise
In a similar vein there also appears to be a strong disco element, embodied by ‘Bend’, which isn’t too far off sounding like Giorgio Moroder’s work on Donner Summers’ ‘I Feel Love’. The album cover by Storm Thorgerson is impressive and explains why it looks very much like a number of Pink Floyd covers. The classic rock theme doesn’t end there either; ‘Hunt’ in particular has a tangible Spinal Tap feel about it.
One criticism, however, is that the band’s vocals on the album, which despite their excellent production work, have a habit of ruining perfectly good tracks. Just like other electronic synth dependent bands (LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip par example), you would be forgiven for thinking that Goose would never quite be able to recreate the electronic beats and rhythms that you hear on the album in a live setting; but you would be wrong. Fully aware of this failing in similar artists, the band recorded the whole album live, thus being able to recreate the atmosphere in any venue they choose, including your bedroom.
Put that all together and you get a retrospective concept album, with the band going back to the routes of house music and coming up with something a bit new, but not particularly special. There are definitely some great tunes in there, but despite having the cover of a classic, the album isn’t.