The Goodnight Loving
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The Goodnight Loving

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| INDIE
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A funny thing happened the other day. I was looking at some best of the year lists that came out and the editor-in-chief of a very well respected music rag picked Cemetery Trails by Milwaukee's The Goodnight Loving as his favorite album of 2006. Huh? Who?
Curious, I went looking for some other reviews of this disc, I found none. I looked the band up on one of the websites I use that has information on virtually every band in existence, nothing. I did eventually find them on My Space. The samples impressed me enough to order the disc, which was a bit of a challenge in itself. You have to go to the Dusty Medical My Space site (not the label's official website) and hit the blog link for the album.
So what does The Goodnight Loving sound like? Imagine Uncle Tupelo alt country chops with a reckless Replacements style punk rock attitude. It is smart and fun with all kinds of hooks and attitude. It really is very cool and totally unexpected.
Right out of the gate we get an alt country gem called "Dead Fish on the Banks." Rollicking guitar and sing song country bop make this an instant winner; it also contains the line where the disc gets its title. Slacker country best describes the vibe of "Smoke and Mirrors." A kind of upbeat droning lament as they sing "No, don't cha' go near her, she's all smoke and mirrors." The bright guitar line keeps the mood a bit lighter than the somber singing would suggest.
After this the disc starts to rock a bit more reminding me of the classic Replacements disc "Let It Be." It is a shambling style of loose rockin' that gives you the feeling the band went into the studio, plugged in and just started laying down songs one right after the other. There's nothing pretentious at all here, just a band making their sound.
We get an almost punk country groove as the boys blaze through "Seeds and Stems" about midway through the disc. It is a great lead into the most straight up rocker on the album "Deadweight." With a killer opening guitar hook this one will stick in your head immediately.
When they slow things down it is equally effective. "Shortwave" starts soft, slow and quiet, and then builds in tempo and volume. Lyrically it's great, "Chapstick addiction holdin' her drink with conviction / Wallpaper reflecting in her eyes...Like a shortwave radio slow dance / Well we're spinnin' in the rain." Add harmonica and we have another clear winner.
All in all, this band shows a ton of promise if someone doesn't ruin them along the way. The one criticism I have with the disc is that the vocals are mixed way too low and murky at times. This could be due to the limited indie budget or just the time constraints of getting into a studio and getting it done. In any event this is still a band well worth checking out. Not sure I would say it was the best disc of 2006, but it is the best disc no one's heard. It's a great debut that leaves me wanting to hear more, road trip to Wisconsin anyone?
R# - Mule News


Kevin from Dusty Medical tossed the cd version of this album in our tourin vehicle in Milwaukee and really I didn't rip it open until we were fully bored on tour. We gave it a once over, sounded pretty good, but I wasn't automatically addicted. Then on the drive home (7 hours that feel like 15) we stuck it in again, I remembered how catchy and poppy the first track was, then I remembered that Black Sunday had played a basement show with these guys, I remember how catchy and pretty their melodies were, and, well it reminded me of a Greg Cartwright project. Low and behold, he'd lent his hands producing this album. It rolled through twice in a row on that drive and we were hooked. This album has tender layering and great lyrics, yet it's got the home recording layed back production, honest unperfected takes, hooks, pace changes, and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes the Reigning Sound or Wilco or the Palace Brothers, or even more raw punk garage rock 'n roll. Say, the Faces, or T-Rex, or hell, Willie Nelson. Played this more than anything lately. - scenestars.net


When I first heard The Goodnight Loving (Milwaukee ,Wisconsin), it was on a whim. Seriously, I mean, who would honestly think that a band called “The Goodnight Loving” would be both good and a good night? No false advertising here! Lyrics are well thought out and meaningful, no bitch-ass-hoes or gangsters riding dirty on this album. This is unadulterated, turn it up to 11, god bless America, I hate everything our country stands for, but damn it - I’ll defend your right to say it, folk-rock.

TGL has been around since mid-2005 and continues to produce heart rocking, toe stomping, keg dropping beats. They are currently on Dusty Medical Records, but as of now it looks like you’ll have to contact the band directly to purchase their album Cemetery Trails.

Recommended if you like: Defiance Ohio, Two Gallants, Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen - reginaldbuxley.wordpress.com


When you talk about eggs, cheese, and broccoli in one dish, I listen. And when you talk about a record that Greg Oblivian produced, I listen really hard. Around here we've been slamming quiche and playing the hell out of Cemetary Trails by Milwaukee's The Goodnight Loving. This is the Swiss Army Knife of 2006 punk records. You can play this with your friends, with a lady, on the bus, drinking alone, or whenever you just need to hear fun music and feel good. These five midwestern guys are a little bit country, a little bit rock n roll, all done up right for the punks. As the snow started to fall, and you thought you had your "Best of 2006" list set in stone, these guys came as a breath of fresh air. If you're a fan of the Reigning Sound, rock n roll music, or making out with girls, you should probably check these guys out on Dusty Medical. - 7inchslam.blogspot.com


Goddamn! The first song on here is as good a song you will hear anywhere this year. Perfect Byrds-esque soaring pop, as good as anything the Reigning Sound has done. No wonder Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound) produced 'em... there's country, slide, mandolin, washboard, passing freight trains all thrown into a mix that sometimes works better than others, but it's not phoney even when songs don't take off. The whole album is solid, but man, it's worth it for "Dead Fish On The Banks." Chills, man, chills!

- goner-records.com


1. The Goodnight Loving Cemetery Trails (Dusty Medical) It's the best rock album no one's heard, the best debut album by a rock band no one's heard and the best rock album by a band--gasp!--not from New York. Cemetery Trails has it all: incredible songs (think Uncle Tupelo meets the Feelies), smart lyrics, smart style and, above all, a sense of fun and "fuck it, let's just play" recklessness. Say hello to Milwaukee's best. - CMJ


Discography

Cemetery Trails CD/LP (Dusty Medical Records)
Crooked Lake CD/LP (Dusty Medical Records)
Up North Girl/a couple of B's (Bancroft Records)
Drafted Into War/Life Ain't So Great (Contaminated Records)

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Bio

Mixing small town sincerity with big city sophistication is no simple feat, yet Milwaukee's Goodnight Loving pulls it off with a humble confidence that makes it look easy. Their sound harkens back to the days when Country and Rock & Roll were more than kissin' cousins, but updates it with a twist of irresistible pop. This was immediately apparent on their debut album "CEMETERY TRAILS." Recorded by the legendary Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound, Mary Weiss), the album went on to receive album of the year honors from CMJ New Music Monthly's Editor-in-chief. Just months after recording their debut, Goodnight Loving headed to northern Wisconsin to record in a secluded cabin on CROOKED LAKE. One play of the record will addict anyone to their sweet melodies and intelligent, prose- worthy lyrics; multiple listenings will expose rustic auditory atmospherics such as thunder and chirping birds, all caught on tape live at the cabin by friend and confidante Justin Perkins (Smart Studios). In concert they can bash out rockers with the best of 'em, or tone it down a notch to let their soulful musicianship take center stage. They've been scorching the scene in Milwaukee for awhile now, but have lately taken the act nationally with two U.S. tours and appearances at the Horizontal Action Blackout, South By Southwest and CMJ Music Marathon. They'll be returning to CMJ this fall as well as Gonerfest in Memphis and possibly a European tour by next summer. Goodnight Loving have a slew of singles slated for release on Bancroft, Contaminated, Hook Or Crook, and Bam! (Italy), which will blow minds left and right with their deep catalogue of original, timeless songs.