Bladen McLaughlen + the Good Time Boys Good Time Noise CD
The experience of listening to this album is kinda like buying weed as a high-schooler. If you don’t know any better, a bag of schwag may not seem so bad, even if smoking it does leave you with a headache afterwards. If Good Time Noise serves as someone’s introduction to the wild and wacky genre that is punk rock, they could be forgiven for mistaking this as being decent, or even good. For me, it’s all stems and seeds. BLADEN MCLAUGHLEN + THE GOOD TIME BOYS can only be described as “boomer punk.” I have no idea if the band members are in fact boomers—nor do I care—but the songs they have committed to polycarbonate plastic substrate sound more dated than the medium on which they appear. One track begins with a George W. Bush sound clip, which is an odd choice of source material to sample in 2023, but I guess it relates to the song, which is titled “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Pete Townsend would be rolling in his grave, were he not still alive. By and large, Good Time Noise is riddled with boring, mid-tempo drivel that is simultaneously over and under-produced, somehow. I’d have snoozed right through this one if the hoarse, grating vocals weren’t so darn loud. Most of the lyrics seem well-intentioned, but the title track is excruciatingly dumb, even for a drinking song. And then there’s the ode to Portland, Maine—a majestic place of stunning natural beauty that I now wish to avoid altogether for fear that this release is representative of its current punk scene. Yikes.