The Good Minus are a pop-rock band from Melbourne, Australia, here with their self-titled debut album. Comprised of three multi-instrumentalists with a knack for vocal harmonies, The Good Minus has been described as “Grizzly Bear reimagining the songs of ‘Elbow,’” and I can’t say that’s far off. Between the smooth harmonies and the, at times, progressive pop instrumental, The Good Minus is an easy album to get into.
This album packs in a lot of variety amongst its 9 tracks. Songs like “Wonderful” layer some buttery vocal harmonies over top of an almost prog-rock sounding acoustic-based instrumental. Even when The Good Minus reign things in with the instrumental, more pop sounding songs like “Catch Us Up” manage to weave between sounding sombre and upbeat seamlessly. My favourite outing from the band is the song “Blood Brothers.” The song’s TTNG-esque opening vocal and guitar immediately caught my attention and the rich, harmonious chorus held onto it. I think this song really captures the Good Minus’ talent for combining strong instrumental and vocal melodies without losing the basic pop song structure.
Now, I know there’s a pun in here somewhere. “The good, minus the bits I didn’t dig,” or something along those lines. But I’ve been trying to figure out how to word it for a while now and it’s just not going anywhere. None of this is important to the album but I need you all to know the struggle I’ve been facing. ANYWHO, my point is that there are a few duds on The Good Minus. The opening tune “Mechanical Shark” doesn’t do much for me. The intro and chorus of the song sound a little too close to a church choir for my liking and the bass noodling gets a little overbearing. It’s no secret that the band are talented musicians, but “Mechanical Shark” is just overbearing.
The Good Minus is an interesting listen. Maybe you’re a sucker for complex vocal harmonies. Maybe you love yourself a catchy but unconventional instrumental. Or maybe you’re like me and you need something to pull you out of a YouTube rabbit hole of teen wedding reality shows. Whatever the case, if you appreciate ambitious pop music, The Good Minus should be on your radar.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Mike Milito