December 4, 2018 Good Old War – Part Of Us (EP Review)
Set for release on December 7th, Part Of Us is a finale, or so Good Old War might like listeners to think. It becomes the final triplet in the EP series of releases which started in October 2017 with Part Of Me, followed by Part Of You in February 2018, all through Nettwerk Music Group. A conclusion to the trilogy, lyrically complex, and with an easy feel, this collection leaves listeners with a richness that echoes with an impression of great things to come.
With a trademark optimism Keith Goodwin (vocals/guitar), Dan Schwartz (guitar/vocals), and Tim Arnold (drums) open the five track EP with “Every Morning” featuring claps and easy strolling sounds. Musically lush, what shines brightest is the fact that it seems to be an homage to the fans who have followed the band along their musical journey. Then are others, such as “Ian’s Song (Believer),” which is a lyrical bit of genius with slide guitar. Each note moves on and lingers at the same time, and Goodwin’s plaintive, authentic vocal delivery sells the story for sure.
It is important to remember to listen to this as the cornerstone to the three EPs collection; it is a definite thematic fit – like puzzle pieces singing a musical story, it is a richer experience that way. That said, this set of five songs does stand alone, and “Misty-eyed” is a fitting first step towards the end. Melancholy yet hopeful, it may feel a bit clipped in comparison to the rest of the songs, but that may be intentional. The production is stunning here, with clarity on the finger-picking guitar and careful progression of bass, it is almost overwhelming. Softly plaintive, this is songwriting genius down to the final note.
Closing out EP, “Halfway to Ruin” leaves you with a warm embrace from Good Old War. Is this a love song to fans who have helped these Philadelphians get where they are today? Perhaps. Sweet, simple, and melodic, this is a slow march into the future for a band who defines the road of Indie Folk Rock. Good Old War is inviting you to be Part Of Us, or them, so to speak. A welcoming sentiment, Cryptic Rock agree with them, giving the final EP in the series 5 out of 5 stars.