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Good Boy stomped through The Tote producing one of their most visceral performances yet

Good Boy's new lineup made for a stunning lo-fi preview of their upcoming debut record.

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After a huge 2018, Brisbane outfit Good Boy tied up the year with single, ‘CRF’ and are now touring the country to celebrate its release. They also released an accompanying clip before the end of the year, and if that was any indication for the shows ahead, it was going to be weird. 

The Tote bandroom was packed to the brim with the Friday night crowd. Supports from Nat Vazer and The Vacant Smiles warmed up the crowd in time for Good Boy to take to the stage. The band's lineup has expanded with Marli Smales joining the group on bass, adding to a thicker sound while old friend and Jarrow frontman Dan Oke joined the band on stage for a few songs. You may remember Good Boy and Jarrow’s split single that was released in 2017 – funnily enough, we didn’t hear from either song on the 7”.

The band kicked off the set with one of their most recognisable tracks, ‘Poverty Line’. The song’s chorus is simple and overly infectious. It’s nothing new that deadpan vocals are having a moment in local Australian music at the moment – Good Boy’s singer Rian King has perfected his own take on it. King’s voice has a certain power to capture attention, with absolute clarity to his lyrics.

Other favourites included ‘Fishing With a Shotgun’, ‘Transparency’ and a surprise old Parquet Courts cover, ‘Borrowed Time’. Although, ‘Green Dress’ was missing from the band’s setlist, a popular choice that I had come to expect. Regardless, with Stu McKenzie’s tight drums and jangly guitar from Tom Lindeman, Good Boy is a well-oiled machine at this point. Not to mention, newcomer Smales holding her own with bold basslines.

The band drew heavily from their 2017 EP, Shirk Life, with a couple of newer songs, positioning themselves nicely for their debut album later in the year. The set did not go without its issues, with a few stinging feedback moments. But if anything it added to the raw, lo-fi sound The Tote has been known to foster.

The band finished off with the tour’s single, ‘CRF’ and finally, ‘A Waste of Approximately 122 Million Dollars (Taxpayers Funded)' – a mouthful to say, but a great end. With the debut album’s release looming, it won’t be long until we see Good Boy grace a Melbourne stage again. Taking note of their lustrous list of supports under their belt, we might even see them that much sooner.

Highlight: The crowd’s energy.

Lowlight: The Tote’s creaking floor. Will it fall through? Won’t it? Who knows.

Crowd favourite: ‘A Waste of Approximately 122 Million Dollars (Taxpayers Funded)’ and ‘Poverty Line’.