Late last month, Philadelphia-based Good Old War released their fourth studio album, Broken Into Better Shape. The album’s title takes on an added significance when you consider drummer Tim Arnold’s departure from the band during the album’s writing process. Rest assured though, Arnold’s influence is still apparent on the album. He is currently on the road with the band for their first tour in three years, and they sound as strong as ever.
The finished product is arguably the band’s most cohesive and fleshed out album to date. The album’s first single, ‘Tell Me What You Want From Me’ sees the band fully embracing a newer, more pop-oriented sound. A recurring theme, tracks like ‘Never Gonna See Me Cry’ and ‘Broken Record’, along with the aforementioned single, are some of the catchiest songs the band has ever produced. Few bands could make a transition like this as effortlessly as Good Old War have done with Broken Into Better Shape.
I actually recently had the pleasure of seeing Good Old War play the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, Oregon. Typically, when a band tours behind a new album, the new tracks don’t exactly elicit the biggest crowd response. However, this could not have been further from the truth that night. The new songs translated brilliantly to a live setting and were welcomed with open arms by everyone in attendance. It was a straight-up, nearly-two-hour dance party, complete with one of the best uses of an encore I’ve ever experienced; seeing the band leave the stage and join the crowd on the floor for a full on, acoustic, campfire sing-a-long.
Before the show, my knowledge of their music was a bit limited, but with this new album and their captivating live show, Good Old War have made a lifer out of me. Check them out now on tour supporting their new album, Broken Into Better Things.