“The Knife” is the first Goldfinger album released in nearly 9 years and the first with what can be considered a punk rock super group lineup of Mike Herrera from MXPX, Travis Barker on drums and Story of the Year’s Phil Sneed on guitar. With the original lineup imploded from within, the new lineup as well as a slew of guest musicians, manages to produce one of the best Goldfinger albums since the bands’ first two albums.
While some people may think that I’m blowing smoke with that last comment, for me it’s true. For anyone familiar with Goldfinger’s self-titled album as well as its follow up “Hang-Ups” you would know that most of those albums were solely guided by John Feldmann. There was a lot of animosity between him and his bandmates due to the fact that he wanted to make the kind of album that he wanted to make at all costs. When the other members of the band gained a semblance of creative control we got albums such as “Open Your Eyes” and “Disconnection Notice”. Those albums just didn’t have the sound or energy of the first two albums and each lackluster album that followed drove me further and further away from those songs of my youth. “The Knife” is different.
With the release of the first single from the album “Put The Knife Away” drawing comparisons to the most recent Blink 182 album and with people automatically lumping “The Knife” into a copycat Blink 182 sound, fans old and new are in store for a different kind of monster.
Right off the bat the first track “A Million Miles” caught my attention. The furious punk opening immediately reminded me of something from the self-titled album and then the ska riffs popped up on the same track and you could say that my interest was piqued. The follow up song , “Get What I Need” was even more of a surprise for me as horns blared and a skankable third wave ska track appeared before my ears. The song, like the sound told stories of reminiscing about ones past and things of old. Ex-Mighty Mighty Bosstones guitarist Nate Albert appears on guitar to lend the song even more ska cred.
Following up the ska and punk opening, this Goldfinger line-up continues to surprise with a fun pogo-pop-punk track “Am I Deaf” which brings about some classic Goldfinger self-deprecating snark. And then it’s reggae time with “Tijuana Sunrise” a smooth and soulful track that has been missing from the Goldfinger repertoire for way too long.
As “The Knife” continues on the variety of sounds are aplenty. Pop punk songs that turn into melodic hardcore…punk songs mixed with reggae, straight up third wave ska, Blink 182 style pop punk with an appearance from Mark Hoppus…every Goldfinger sound from every era shows up in some way, shape or form. “The Knife” is the total package. It even ends on a sweet pop punk tribute song to John Feldmann’s daughter Milla.
For anyone that wants to immediately dismiss this album as a throwaway Blink 182 clone, then that is your loss. For fans that have missed the chaotic, energetic, unpredictable Goldfinger sound of old then “The Knife” and this new lineup is right up your alley. I would never have predicted that a group made up of members of MXPX, Story of the Year and Blink 182 would be playing third wave ska, reggae in the first place and be able to play Goldfinger-style melodic punk rock better than founding members of the band could for the past 15 years. If this is what it takes to have kick ass Goldfinger albums, I’m all for it.
Bottom Line: The best Goldfinger album since the self-titled release and “Hang-Ups” by a long shot. For the first time in a long time the songs don’t feel forced and the album flows well altogether.
Notable Tracks: A Million Miles, Get What I Need, Am I Deaf, Tijuana Sunrise, Who’s Laughing Now, Orthodontist Girl, Liftoff