Out of the haze of the velvet morning comes the first band to ever put the small town of Resolven, at the throbbing heart of Neath Valley, Wales, on the map. They are called, quite simply, El Goodo, and their debut, self-titled album is a gloriously effortless piece of pop music perfection.
El Goodo was unleashed upon the British record-buying public by their good friends and countrymen Super Furry Animals, who originally released their self-titled debut on their very own independent label, Placid Casual, in late 2005. In many ways, El Goodo wear their hearts on their sleeves, their influences are many and their knack for melodies impressive. Taking cues from places as diverse at the Elephant 6 collective to the fuzzed up tones of Scotland’s C86 post-punk bands, the mysterious and enigmatic members of El Goodo make a wonderful racket.
El Goodo are:
Jason – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Pixy – vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion
Lewis – guitars
Elliot – drums, percussion, keyboards
Matty – vocals, keyboards, samples
The band are found, as their website says, not always in that order, but usually together. And they are a band who appreciate a three-part back-up harmony, the crackle of a treble-twisted snare and a jangly guitar, not always in that order, but usually together.
Opener “Life Station” sizzles as soon as it hits the stereo, setting the stage for the sunshine explosions that are “Surreal Morning” and “If I Were A Song”. “What Went Wrong? (or: How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)” is lifted by Stax-era horns and swooning strings, while, “Esperanto” has all the makings of an Astrud Gilberto classic in a little over a minute, with booming drums, a glistening xylophone and syrupy orchestral swells. “Chalking the Line” recalls The Byrds at their most vibrant, the farfisa blairing, the guitars swinging, eventually breaking down in the middle and letting the tape loop twirl off its hinge until they decide to pick the song back up again and end it properly, putting you right back in the middle of a rock song so mind-blowingly good, you might have to pinch yourself just to double check you’re not imagining it.
El Goodo are one of life’s wonderful anomalies. We’re not sure how many other enchantingly gifted pop music sorcerers there are in Neath Valley, deepest Wales, but we bet it’s not many. Let’s treasure them like the strange exotic creatures they are.
El Goodo s/t -CD-