h

On ‘We’re Not Talking’ The Goon Sax have solidified themselves as one of Australia’s best recording artists.

Bands holding honorary positions in the cardigan-draped indie-pop pantheon often channel their romantic frustration into fictional whimsy, riddled with references to obscure English poets.

Brisbane trio The Goon Sax are similarly romantically dispossessed, yet on their second LP We’re Not Talking they own their naked confessionals with unpretentious modern honesty.
 
The Goon Sax’s low-fi faux-naivety on their debut Up to Anything allowed some to dismiss them as cutesy, but ‘Make Room for Love’immediately establishes they no longer languish under the low-fi umbrella.
 
A teeth-chattering rhythm drenched in sugary melancholy is the record’s instrumental constant, manifesting in pattering percussion, rim hits and the jittery organ on the almost laughably gorgeous ‘Losing Myself ’.
 
The record traverses the minutia of emotional breakdown from a panoramic array of angles. It should technically make for a mournful listen; each song despairs in an inability to communicate, repair or rebuild, yet The Goon Sax invariably manage to endear, each chorus unfurling into string-laden clarity and social catharsis.
 
By the record’s conclusion ‘Til the End’, the band haven’t resolved relationship troubles, nor hit miraculous epiphany, rather accepting sometimes things just won’t work. ‘Sleep EZ’ is the record’s shimmering centrepiece, drummer Jones and bassist James Harrison get their share of the vocals on the record, their sweetly deadpan personalities synonymous with Forster’s words. Harrison sings the bitingly self-deprecating ‘She Knows’ (“I wanna know what you think of me, because I don’t know what I think about me”) while James’ searching turn on ‘Strange Light’ ponders a vulnerable suburban love.
 
The Goon Sax have crafted a consummate work of distinctly Australian indie-pop, and solidified themselves as one of Australia’s best recording artists.