Goudie, Stubb's, July 11

Live Shots

Goudie

Stubb's, July 11

To be sure, pop is about posturing and looking pretty, but just as much, it's about songs. Goudie's hourlong set, marking the release of their Elektra/ The Music Company debut Peep Show, had scads of the former and not quite as much of the latter, but if the local foursome's songs ever get as finely sculpted as namesake Johnny Goudie's cheekbones, watch out. Like Goudie's Bonoesque falsetto on opener "Tonight," the band aims for grand, sweeping rock statements that cloak lyrical vulnerability in overwhelming waves of guitar and an unflinching rhythm attack. But as befits a band that's drawn more Radiohead comparisons than there are Magnet readers salivating over the Oxford band's OK Computer follow-up, Goudie the band has a tendency to wander. The surging ocean of effects from Jimmy Messer's guitar (not for nothing has this band been known to cover Austin's vaunted Flying Saucers) threatened to submerge "Shy" and "Strange," but when he tightened the noose a little, it resulted in the concise, Blur-like heavy pop of "Sugar Daddy" and armor-plated waltz-time Garbage nod "Buy Me." Similarly, Goudie has yet to resolve the tension between Johnny's frequently porcelain-fragile vocals and the rhythm section's tendency to treat the material like Master of Puppets redux. It's unclear if the singer has the pipes to be a real screamer in the Kurt Cobain/ Dave Grohl mode, but he was up to the high-decibel task on "Valentine," recalling Verbena with a dash of Toadies, and an especially fierce cover of the Cars' "You're All I've Got," which went for the jugular like Mudhoney used to. Even though they're still sorting out where exactly they're headed, Goudie is nonetheless plenty radio-ready; "Drag City" is a perfect pairing of AC/DC and Cheap Trick, while Peep Show's first single "Baby Hello" is every bit as glam as the candelabras adorning the stage. Closing with the very goth, gauzy aural sex of "Made" -- with Trail of Dead's Conrad Keely watching intently (enviously?) from the audience -- Goudie demonstrated enough scissor-kicking attitude and stage presence to rival their major-label peers.

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