New album from the Nashville trio arrives August 26.
BY DANNY R. PHILLIPS
Whatever happened to rock n roll? Sure, there are still some survivors out there, kicking and screaming for the pounding of drums, the warm, unmistakable hum of a Crate tube-amp or the relentless bottom end of a bowel shaking bassline. However, they can be rare; exiles sent to the outer lands of radio, social relevance and the underground scenes, eclipsed by the Mileys, the Minjas and the Biebers of the world.
Apparently, the Nashville, Tennessee trio Goodbye June did not get the memo. The three cousins (Landon Milbourn, Brandon Qualkenbach, Tyler Baker) from Music City USA have crafted a sound that combines elements of early Rolling Stones ramble, 1970’s rock stomp with just enough delicate beauty to invoke the spirit of southern soul; a quiet sadness hidden between the notes. Taking their name from the month that Baker’s brother Shane tragically died in an automobile accident while on leave, there are moments where the loss of this brother peeks through in Baker’s voice. “Darlin’,” a song for a challenging love holds something else.
There is an eerie weight that hovers perfectly here between the notes coaxed from old, throaty acoustic guitar, while the pain in a brother’s voice sits just behind the sentiment of the song, tone of man and instrument worn from time, trial and tribulation. For a band so capable of heartbreaking lament and reflection, Goodbye June are more than skilled at grabbing rock n roll by its withered balls and giving it a good, solid twist; snapping the tired old man back into the world of the living. With “Man of the Moment” the band does there best Rage riffs (no rapping, thank god) will Milbourn channels the spirits of the late greats Marc Bolan of glam giants T Rex and the booze soaked, in your face, ball breaker that was Bon Scott.
August 26th will see the fruits of their labors hit the streets with the band’s new ep “Danger in the Morning,” a collection of songs ranging from kick you in the teeth collision of Sabbath riffs, Soundgarden heaviness, Wolfmother sludge and Joe Tex getdown (“Oh No”) to loss and heartbreak strong enough to break the most iron of hearts (“Darlin’).
“We try to be our own band,” lead vocalist Landon Milbourn told Blurt. “We do what makes us happy as a band and as musicians and, hopefully, the fans enjoy it.” Enjoy they have. Since winning the Unsigned Only Music Competition in 2014, giving them recording time, new instruments, have seen their single “Oh No” played over two million times on Spotify and, most importantly, insight into business they had chosen. “We got to meet and spend time with quite a few bigger names in the industry.” As for the Spotify “Oh No” explosion, it seems hard for Goodbye June to wrap their head around such a tall number. “It’s surreal,” said Brandon Qualkenbach, “the thought of two million people listening to our song is flattering and mind blowing at the same time. It’s tough to imagine.”
With the push coming from the contest win, notice from “Microscope,” a song from the band’s 2012 debut Nor the Wild Music Flow, the phenomenal response to “Oh No”, a tour spot with current glam rock champs The Struts, the wheels seem in motion for 2016 to be a big year for Goodbye June. However, Milbourn and the boys are staying cautious and aware. “I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves thinking we have done all these things, now we are a success,” he continued, “we’ve had some wins but we need to keep going, don’t rest and put out music we love, that’s success.”
Here’s to hope that this hello is just the beginning of a long career for Goodbye June and the resurrection of rock n roll. Fingers crossed on the right hand, devil horns on the left flying high.
Long Live Rock n Roll!
Photos Credit: Alysse Gafkjen