In reality, John Feldmann doesn’t need to make a new Goldfinger record. With a multitude of hit albums credited to his production from Blink-182’s ‘California’ to 5 Seconds of Summer’s self-titled to Stick to Your Guns’ ‘Disobedient’, his success as producer has far eclipsed his career as frontman of the ska punk quartet known for hits ‘Superman’ and ‘Spokesman’.
So for Feldmann to release a new Goldfinger record with a lineup featuring Blink’s Travis Barker, MXPX’s Mike Herrera, and Story of the Year’s Phil Sneed, seventh album ‘The Knife’ may seem like a passion project rather than ambitious musical endeavour, but that doesn’t stop it from being worthwhile to listening to. Because it absolutely is.
In an age where a lot of pop-punk bands have become dime-a-dozen, Feldmann manages to squeeze personality out of every buzzsaw guitar filled second of ‘The Knife’. Opener ‘A Million Miles’ packs so much of his glowing Californian aura into its two minute and five-second run, you can feel yourself having to squint your eyes from the sunlight.
Part of this personable attachment on ‘The Knife’ comes from Feldmann’s acceptance of his age and longevity in the scene. The autobiographical ‘Get What I Need’ is an ode to growing older and feeling his “memories turn to dust”, while ‘Am I Deaf’ is a mocking acceptance that he “sounds like my Dad did to me” when he complains about today’s music. Appropriately, this song contains stadium-sized hooks that could fit on one of the 5SOS albums he produced.
Throughout ‘The Knife’, Goldfinger showcase Feldmann’s warmth and enthusiasm for making music. Whether it’s razor sharp skate punk, laid back ska or sugary pop-rock. As one of the busiest producers in pop-rock, making a record this life-affirming can only come from a place of passion. The world and John Feldmann don’t need this record, but it’s great that we have it.
‘The Knife’ by Goldfinger is out now on Rise Records.
Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)