Way Out West: Goodwill Hunting

Posted: by The Editor

FFO: Joyce Manor, Summer Vacation, Chumped

Goodwill Hunting 1

(Photo Credit: Tommy Calderon Photography)

On July 11th of 2015 I was a scared and naive 17 year old (that’s not to say that I’m not definitely still both of those first two things). I was freshly graduated from high school, and just beginning to get a grasp on the Portland music community that I now pride myself in being a rather active participant in. On July 11th of 2015 I somehow talked myself into going to a house show on Tillamook Street, all by myself, where I didn’t really know that many people yet. I later learned that this house show would introduce me to one of my now best friends, and two of my now favorite bay area bands. Those two bands were Just Friends (you can read my write up on them here) and Goodwill Hunting. The long and loving story of me and Just Friends at that show is a story for another day. But I remember the band before them, that I had never heard of, and that blew me away. Fremont, California’s Goodwill Hunting was that band. In typical “punk” fashion, not a single song reaches the 3 minute mark, and the entire 7 track Self Titled EP comes in around a whole 15 minutes, perfectly timed for my walk across campus.

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The endearing, generally unpolished sound of the music is paired with vocalist Cole Berggen’s captivatingly crude voice, which yearningly recites the passionate lyrics that are seemingly tailor-made for those very vocals. Bassist Tuesday Jensen lays down a rock solid base on which every other sound is built, and prevents the songs from feeling like skeletons. Guitarist Robert Sesma fills tracks with good ‘ol catchy 90’s esq riffs that will fill a room of any size, but sound best in a shitty old basement. Drummer Reid Alexander gives the EP that signature thrashy component that we all know and love, without sounding sloppy or overpowering. The general story the EP tells is a familiar one; the story of growing up and growing apart. Those 7 songs were the soundtrack to my freshman year of college for a reason. I was bummed to say the least when I found out the band had called it quits shortly after their first and only ever tour. School and life got in the way as they do of all good things. I was thrilled to hear that the gang would be reuniting for a single show this past December, and was even more stoked to find out that this comeback show wasn’t the end said comeback. While I can’t reveal all the details of their return, I can tell you to keep this band on your radar, because they sure aren’t dead yet.


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