Sean O'Brien & His Dirty Hands "Goodbye Game" (First Cold Press, 2008)
Californian veteran returns with new backing band and impressive results
Sean O'Brien has had a career as a lead singer in several Californian bands stretching over the last quarter of a century. "Goodbye Game" is the first album featuring his backing band 'The Dirty Hands' Jeff Kane - Guitar, Bill Davis - Bass and Matt Shelley - Drums. The majority of this album was recorded live in the studio which is beneficial as it gives a raw, fresh feel which is really appealing.
Sea O'Brien is at his best when at his rockiest and there are plenty of up tempo tracks to keep both old and new fans happy. "Warm and Sane" is a tribute to Sleater-Kinney while "Bones Snap" is an unusually upbeat song about celebrating your birthday alone and is reminiscent of mid 80's era REM. The themes explored by O'Brien are quite diverse and range from antidepressants ("Take Your Pills") to Middle Eastern war ("Aftermath Fears") and Greco/Roman mythology ("Home to Penelope") with plenty in between. When the tempo drops as it does for "All That I Don't Know" the results are equally impressive.
If you are a fan of some of the great American 'Indie' bands of the 80's such as The Replacements and REM, and enjoy some of the grittier moments of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, then there is plenty to love on "Goodbye Game". Highly recommended.
Date review added: Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Reviewer: Steve Wills
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