Sunny Songs Of Insecurity

Sunny Songs Of Insecurity

Think of Goldfinger as the underachieving older brothers of Green Day and Blink-182. It's clear the L.A. post-punk quartet caters to the same X-Games/Warped tour audience, but it's easy to hear that Goldfinger owns — and shamelessly apes — more classic punk records than their younger counterparts. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Goldfinger's is a more calculated, less carefree sound that feels oddly out of sync.

Also off-kilter is the band's attempt to fuse sunny SoCal punk-pop anthems to mostly bitter, insecurity-laden lyrical content. It just feels too heavy, dude. (Well, the first track is called "I'm Down". What a buzz-killer.) Songs like "Forgiveness" seem soft and simplistic despite (or because of?) the band's earnestness. Welcome to the unbearable heaviness of being — here's your Prozac. And the humorless, de rigueur cover of Nena's "99 Red Balloons" makes you think these guys watched MTV 18 years ago and still haven't gotten over their adolescent wet dreams about the brunette pop tart.