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Good Old War - Come Back As Rain Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 8
Production 8
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 80%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.72
Musicianship 9.75
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9.69
Creativity 9.36
Lasting Value 9.39
Reviewer Tilt 9.86
Average: 96%
Inside AP.net

Good Old War - Come Back As Rain

Reviewed by: Thomas Nassiff (02/29/12)
Good Old War - Come Back As Rain
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Record Label: Sargent House


The impression that listening to a Good Old War song leaves on me is not one that is commonly felt; it’s not that I’m listening to insanely catchy music or absurdly talented musicians, but it’s that I’m listening to catchy music written by talented musicians that is so damn refreshing compared to the norm. And that isn’t a knock against whatever else I’m listening to as much as it is a tip-of-the-hat to the three amigos (Keith Goodwin, Tim Arnold, Daniel Schwartz) that make up Good Old War. And yes, I will forever bold those parts of your names every time I review a record you release. So far, I’m 3-for-3.

And as a music reviewer who tries to be slightly less “the same,” I hate using a lightly tossed around word like “refreshing.” But that’s exactly what Good Old War’s third full-length for Sargent House Records is; listening to Come Back As Rain is comparable to drinking a tall, ice-cold glass of lemonade after a brisk burst of exercise in the summer heat, or, um, when the main character gets caught in an out-of-the-blue rain shower during the emotional point of a movie.

The part of Good Old War’s consistent folky goodness that always strikes me most, no matter how many repeat listens I give them, is the trio’s ability to use their vocals as an instrument. While they obviously aren’t pioneers in this field, they execute it better than most. Opener “Over and Over” and first single “Calling Me Names” demonstrate this just fine on their own, as handclaps (yay!) and vocal highlights are abundant. Arnold’s drums are subtle as usual, but still strong enough to keep you bobbing your head the whole time. “Calling Me Names” should also appeal to fans of what might still be Good Old War’s best song, “Coney Island.”

Actually, Come Back As Rain as a whole brings back memories of Only Way To Be Alone, the magic of which Good Old War was not quite able to recapture in its self-titled album. Whatever that second record lacked is more than made up for in Come Back As Rain, though, and album standout “Can’t Go Home” is a testament to that. The vocals run just slightly darker than they normally do, with a memorable one-liner of, “There’s nothing like sleeping alone so much.”

Most of the album follows a better-than-we’re-used-to version of what has become Good Old War’s staple sound, with acoustic guitars pacing appropriate percussion and the trio’s recognizable croons. “Touch the Clouds (Taste the Ground)” and the rocking “After the Party” definitely stick out from the pack, with the latter being one of the faster-paced songs on the album. It’s one of the better tracks in the band’s catalog, to boot. The repeated refrains at the end of the closing “Loud Love” provide a nice closing feel to the record.

Come Back As Rain is a pleasant…not a surprise, but reaffirmation…that Good Old War is one of the most talented bands around at this point in time. It’s not that the self-titled was a bad album, but when a debut makes an impact like Only Way To Be Alone did, one begins to wonder if a band can match their first output. With Come Back As Rain, Goodwin, Arnold and Schwartz prove that not only can they match their best work, but at times best it. An all-around recommended release.

8/10 - Great

System.

Recommended If You LikeOnly Way To Be Alone, The Beach Boys but playing indie folky stuff instead of surfer pop.
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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 57.
09:46 AM on 02/29/12
#2
honestykills
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Not sure why the ST gets so much hate from others, it's not a bad album by any means. It definitely grows on you.

Anyways, can't wait for this.
09:49 AM on 02/29/12
#3
uglystar03
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I don't feel their second album lacked anything. I usually prefer it to Only Way to Be Alone.
09:53 AM on 02/29/12
#4
Cody Nelson
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I would never hesitate to call them absurdly talented. Their versatility on instruments and obvious knack for pitch and melody is something that falls to the wayside with a lot of groups, and these three guys have it in spades.
09:53 AM on 02/29/12
#5
Holly HoX!
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This band: great

This review:
09:57 AM on 02/29/12
#6
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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I would never hesitate to call them absurdly talented. Their versatility on instruments and obvious knack for pitch and melody is something that falls to the wayside with a lot of groups, and these three guys have it in spades.
"it’s that I’m listening to catchy music written by talented musicians"

I didn't mean that in a way to say they aren't talented haha. I just meant that it's not JUST the fact that they're talented.
09:57 AM on 02/29/12
#7
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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This band: great

This review:
Always a good troll.
10:00 AM on 02/29/12
#8
Holly HoX!
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I don't understand your entire first paragraph. It's all good. It is what it is. I just don't agree with most of what was said here. Indoor Living basically explained my sentiments. Seeing them live is completely different than listening to them on record as well.

A differing opinion isn't being a troll. I didn't say "you suck, dude!"
10:09 AM on 02/29/12
#9
SmallFrailBoy
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Quote:
or, um, when the main character gets caught in an out-of-the-blue rain shower during the emotional point of a movie.

What?

Damnit though, I can't wait to hear this album. Still gets my goat that I'll never hear another Days Away album. Also - I did think that the second GOW album was kinda "eh" compared to the first one. Glad that you mentioned that this harkens back to that a little bit.

Final comment: I want Tim Arnold to play drums in a band with me. Retardedly good.
10:17 AM on 02/29/12
knux
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All I saw was this right away and got extremely confused/concerned
10:18 AM on 02/29/12
Ryan Dennehy
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I don't feel their second album lacked anything. I usually prefer it to Only Way to Be Alone.
Same here. I wasn't even aware people didn't like it as much.
10:44 AM on 02/29/12
wall e
no rule says dog cant play basketba
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I haven't been this excited for an album in a long while.
10:57 AM on 02/29/12
t00latef0rr0ses
Purple Monkey Dishwasher
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really looking forward to this one. cant wait for next week.
10:58 AM on 02/29/12
irthesteve
All that wander are not lost
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My heard dropped when I saw a 3% rating for this album, so sad for a second
11:03 AM on 02/29/12
honestykills
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All I saw was this right away and got extremely confused/concerned
Same here, also a little pissed.
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