Goodbye, Labrador – A Thousand Times Before (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
GOODBYE, Labrador may have roots in Brooklyn, Barcelona and Prague but their sound, especially their guitar one, owes much to The Cure.
Second LP A Thousand Times Before is designed to be a dreamy, guitar-driven collection of skilfully textured melodies matched with creative lyrics. And certainly in the guitar work, there is much to admire.
Tracks like album opener Intrepid and Falling Away, in particular, have a strong Cure (circa Inbetween Days) vibe instrumentally, and emerge as more breezy than dreamy in the way they unfold.
Admittedly, the band themselves could do with some tighter vocals, as Martin Pipal’s lead ones aren’t always as striking as they should be. Indeed, quite often they’re embellished by having guest vocalist Sara Sezifredo on board, who offers a nice contrast between the boy and girl harmonies.
Nevertheless, Goodbye Labrador remain an interesting act and one worth checking out, especially given the hard work they have put in to keep going.
In their early days, for instance, they had to trade song ideas via email and Skype, while recording sessions meant long days writing in musty rehearsal rooms and countless nights sleeping on foreign beds and couches on both sides of the Atlantic.
Quite often, a song inspired at midnight in New York had to wait until the next day to be heard in Europe.
But perseverance has paid off for the band and it’s a tribute to their commitment that they have now delivered album number two, albeit with only six songs.
When they get it right, as on album highlights Intrepid, Falling Away and Memoir, they’re really quite appealing.
Download picks: Intrepid, Falling Away