EP Review: Fragments – Goodnight, Sunrise

Rocking their unique blend of soul, funk, classic rock and prog, Goodnight, Sunrise was one of the highlights of my NXNE experience.  A joyous band with a solid live show and a mission to bring as much happiness to an audience as music has brought to their lives, their songs are a blend of celebratory anthems and the political made personal, with your standard love tunes in the mix too, naturally.  Currently working a campaign to fund their first full-length album, the band is giving away its EP on bandcamp as a taste of what said funding will create.  Creating is a keyword of the band – the cycle of destroy/rebuild is a prominent one for the project.  Let’s see what they’ve created so far on their Fragments EP.

Love Fortress #9:  Fast on its way to becoming my summer jam of 2012, “Love Fortress #9” sounds like a groovy time warp where Ann Wilson and Tom Petty get drunk and try to top Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” – and succeed in spades.  Classic rock riffs underlay a call and response number decrying a lover who is a total letdown.  “I let you in, you let me down/I keep on wondering why I keep you around/I built these walls with my blood and sweat/I may forgive but I will never forget!”  Ridiculously catchy and fun.  Deserves to be on top hit karaoke so drunken brokenhearted men and women can belt it out at the top of their tequila-soaked lungs.

Paper Napkins:  Funked out guitars evoke Creedence Clearwater Revival on this one.  Never has a walk through memories of the past sounded so appealing as it has on this building number.  Perhaps it’s the subtle message of deserving more than one has been getting that makes this one strangely optimistic; perhaps it’s the sassy vocals Vanessa provides on lead.  Sounds like a tune awesome for cruising the highway with the windows down.

This Is Yours:  This is yours/Create, destroy, create…”  In endings lie beginnings; so sayeth Goodnight, Sunrise on closing track “This Is Yours”.  Lovely harmonies again on this one, although David takes the lead this time.  That ‘political made personal’ vibe I get from this band is in evidence here – subtly empowering, never limiting one’s power to create to just one’s own life.  The metal influence the band cites is definitely flavouring the percussion and heavy riffs that jump in mid-track and help carry the song out.  Although I can see – and have seen – this work well live, on a studio cut, the outro’s just a little too long and repetitive.  I would have liked alternate lyrics overlayed perhaps – maybe an echo of a previous song on the full-length project?  Still a solid tune.

Final Comments:  High quality production and polished musicianship pay off here.  The band’s description of their album-to-come is perfectly represented in a trio of songs about destruction/endings and creation/beginnings.  The retro flavour of their sound never feels old – just inviting and familiar, like an good friend.  It’s well-balanced and given enough of a twist to make it the band’s own.  I’m definitely looking forward to the full album – and the next live gig.

Final Grade:  A

You, too, can rock out to Fragments.  Hit the bandcamp page for a free download!  And, being as you’ll be enjoying this music free, consider donating a thank you towards the album fundraiser here.

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