Good Times is the debut LP by local duo The GTs. With this album, Samantha Diamond (drums) and Paul Trudel (vocals and guitar) tactfully capture the apathy, uncertainty, and subdued angst of young-adult life via indie rock. This very well may be a projection of my current outlook on life rather than what the Montreal duo intended; however, each track on this album appeals to the quandaries of young adult life in some form or another.
Right off the bat, the opening track “Stoned” feeds into the album’s motif of uncertainty with the ever-so-relatable line, “I know everything, except when I don’t.” Trudel’s lyrics, accompanied by guitar and Diamond’s animated drumming, grasp both the inflated ego and self-doubt experienced by every young adult. Similarly, the upbeat track “Lonely” perpetuates a good-natured acceptance of simply not knowing what has happened to one’s life. The line “I’m way past twenty-one, wondering what I’ve done,” though partly comical, conveys the reasonable yet dispirited view one may have when looking back on the fleetingness of youth. What’s more, with “Charlie Kaufman,” The GTs concoct a wistful love song that perpetuates the well-known feeling of being adrift when lovestruck. This track’s soft and melancholic elements are augmented as Trudel’s voice channels the likes of Jeff Tweedy on Ashes of American Flags. Moreover, with “Monica,” The GTs produce a tune both delicate and sentimental. Though similar to “Charlie Kaufman,” this track’s maturity and minimalist structure are reminiscent of Yo La Tengo’s sound on And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out. Furthermore, on “Mom Song,” Trudel sings to his mom the very blunt line “I hope you’re proud you made me.” In a simple way, this lyric underscores every child’s longing for parental approval, possibly stemming from feelings of insecurity, which fits very nicely with the album’s overall theme. Finally, The GTs conclude their debut album with “So Long.” Together, Trudel’s voice, echoing Thom Yorke on “High And Dry,” and the increasingly blurred instrumental, foment a sense of disorientation as the album slips away.
First and foremost, my interpretation of Good Times may misconstrue Diamond and Trudel’s intentions. Be that as it may, it just goes to show that Good Times, with its gentle strain of indie rock, is both engaging and (for some) able to elicit a strong emotional reflection. Therefore, if in search for an accessible yet nuanced blend of indie rock, then The GTs’ Good Times will prove to be an enjoyable listen.
– Review by Soraya Mamiche Afara