Free from posturing and pretentiousness, Good Old War’s Only Way to Be Alone delivers trouble-free music for difficult times.
The trio, once members of progressive rock group Days Away, have pulled together a brilliant collection of songs on their debut full length record. Only Way to Be Alone, produced by Rick Parker, offers up sweet and unassuming music for those tired of redundant musical gimmickry. Without a drop of pomposity or fakery, this is one album that means what it says and says what it means.
Keith Goodwin (guitars/vocals), Tim Arnold (drums/vocals), and Dan Schwartz (guitar/vocals) chose the name Good Old War based on the “war” that can be the artistic process in these times. It is a worthwhile battle, mind you, and these twenty-somethings have laid down their arms in favor of a blend of dazzling three-part harmonies, acoustic honesty, and clear-cut percussion.
Alternative Press noted that Good Old War “have mastered the art of three-part harmonies and their lively and intricate songs are a throwback to the days when Crosby, Stills And Nash ruled the rock world.” There is certainly truth to that statement, as these young men have constructed music that sounds as though it fits neatly in any of the last five decades.
Only Way to Be Alone is ideal for sifting through old photographs, remembering prom dates, cruising down open roads to nowhere, or simply practicing the fine art of forgetting.
“Looking for Shelter,” for instance, is like wind in the hair and deep city lights all at once. Check out the lavish harmonies, the agile guitar, and the tender percussion. “We’ll just know when it’s right,” sings Goodwin backed affectionately by Arnold and Schwartz. Indeed we will.
Tinged with Americana but not drenched in characterless jingoism, Only Way to Be Alone is about life and living regardless of locale.