Did you know The Only Ones are reformed and gigging again? No, me neither. They split in ’82. If their name doesn’t ring bells, their ace hit Another Girl, Another Planet will – which is, as you’ll now remember, about as good a power-pop-punk song as has ever been written. Still not sure? Listen to it once and the song’ll still be pinging around your head when you go to sleep.
Re-forming is a bit of a tough decision to make for any band – Rock ‘n’ Roll isn’t about steering towards a pension at the end of it all, it’s about going down in a blaze of messy glory and fond memories. It’ll either be one last hurrah or one more drudge in front of aging fans from the old days.
I like to think that when faced with the possibility of seeing a reformed band, I’d dismissively murmur “Don’t look back”, in a smoulderingly pouty way. But then in the last 18 months, I’ve seen My Bloody Valentine and Bis (see previous posts ad nauseum) and have raved endlessly about both. And then look at it this way: If The Smiths reformed, who wouldn’t sell the family silver for a ticket?
Even so, there’s usually more compelling reasons to see a new band than an old one. You might catch them in a breathless, excitingly embryonic stage, which is kind of where Today’s New Band, Goodbyehome, are at. They’re from Chicago, and have that rare folky wistfulness that makes your heart soar and drop simultaneously.
Why I Never Run aches with loving tenderness. The guitar and strings soar over each other, weaving a sound so happy-sad that you might even miss the fact that the vocals do exactly the same thing in exactly the same way. Chemicals and Compromise has the kind of rambling rambunctiousness that’ll grab you by the lapels and pull you onto the dancefloor.
Goodbyehome make the music that would accompany sad, fond memories of a roadtrip where, after driving for hours in the wilderness, you met a beautiful girl at a bar in the middle of nowhere, and spent your whole night with her, knowing you’d never see her again. Sob. Sit at a lonely bar, nurse a beer and reminisce with them here!