Score: 3.75 out of 5 Grackles

Good Looks – “Bummer Year”

Good Looks – “Bummer Year”

Record Label: Keeled Scales

Release Date: April 8, 2022

Demanding to be blasted over a dodgy car radio on a West Texas road trip, Good Looks’ Bummer Year is a sun-soaked tribute to a Texas upbringing. Featuring Jake Ames’ scorching guitar solos throughout, alongside emotive vocals by Tyler Jordan, the 7-track album begins with a meteor shower of sparkling folk chords on the opener, “Almost Automatic”. Things simmer down into “21”, an honest reflection on growing up and falling out of love with working life. The following track, ”Balmorhea”, pushes forward with a sense of freedom and a desert atmosphere. Mirages of slick guitars intro “Bummer Year”, a tune about political perils and togetherness, all told through the allegory of a bar fight. Jordan pleads with listeners to “come to Texas to see what space is” on the deeply personal and homesick “First Crossing”, and he continues to peel the paint off his personal story in “Vision Boards,” strumming with rage against privileged attitudes surrounding manifestation and karmic justice, all while sounding off about the difficulties of being a struggling musician. A forward current of wavy guitars and anguished vocals wrap up the album on “Walker Lake”. Looking backwards and forwards to both inner and outer worlds, Bummer Year is, in the best way possible, a folk album that’s recognizably Texan, and recognizably Austin – with one foot in the past and one foot in a space that’s yearning for both personal and social progress. 

Review by Karoline Pfeil