Goodbye Harry


Food Stamp BBQ

Goodbye Harry - Food Stamp BBQ ©1994 Cruz
1. Habit Check
2. They
3. Rattled
4. Island
5. Bombo's Old House
6. Head Cold
7. Goodbye Harry
8. Armadillo
9. Big Little
10. Half The Time
11. Day Late, Dollar Short
12. Spit
13. Oakland
14. Piss Me Off
15. I Need To Know

When Scott Reynolds left ALL, I really had no idea he started up another band. Based on a mere knowledge that this was Reynolds' new band, I picked up this CD and was blown away by the raw punk. Though desiring on production (All is blessed with two producers in Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton), this short album is fantastic ride from top to bottom. Based on Percolater (Scott's last album with ALL), I thought Goodbye Harry would be a touch mellow, but this smokes. By the time you finish the Tom Petty cover of "I need to know", you're breathless from the velocity and aggressiveness of the album. None of the musicians will ever make Guitar World, but they are quite competent in simple powerful punk rock. Add Scott's distinct singing, and you have an album that is head and shoulders above the competition. And in today's soundalike punk genre, that should be enough recommendation.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/1996

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I Can Smoke

Goodbye Harry - I Can Smoke ©1996 Cruz
1. Nothing Doin
2. That Noise
3. I Don't Mind
4. Go Fuck Yourself
5. Halfway To Vegas
6. Drum Monkey
7. Monster
8. Brazil
9. Angel
10. Stuck
11. Roland Finn
12. Secret Squirrel
13. Mob Style
14. Picking Teams
15. Oblivion

As much as I like ALL, I can't help but wonder on their revolving door policy concerning singers. Dave Smalley (ex-Dag Nasty, DYS) lasted through the first two albums before heading off to studio retirement with Down By Law (though he's got an actual touring band with that outfit nowadays). Enter Popeye Boy Scott Reynolds who graced a trio of ALL's best records plus a live recording. He left after the melancholy but outstanding Percolator, eventually resurfacing with roadie band Goodbye Harry. They put out a splendid punk rock outing titled Food Stamp BBQ. On the road since, Reynolds found a new group of musicians and finally released a punk masterpiece.

I've always felt Reynold's songwriting comprised most of the better ALL material and safe to say he's only matured with age. Goodbye Harry runs amuck through various styles of punk from the country-tinged "Angel" to radio friendly guitar rock "Las Vegas" to the loser anthem "Nothin' Doin'". His band is exceptionally adept at varying and employing all sorts of tempos and textures. This ain't one-dimensional imitation stuff here, pardner.

Lyrically (which is by far Reynold's strongest asset), this album excels. There is nobody out there who can characterize and create succient minuettes of white trash America. Each song captures a sort of hopelessness and depression of various facets of the down-and-out. "Secret Squirrel" documents the life of an elderly woman who is convinced that she is the sole bastion of freedom against facism in the world. Reynolds also describes the all-too-real struggle of surviving in this country in "Moving to Brazil".

The combined strength of profound lyrics and wonderfully catchy music elevates Goodbye Harry to the upper echelon of punk. In one brief stroke, Reynolds is back to his former heights in ALL, though I wish Reynolds were still with his former band.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/1996

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