Posted by Aphra Magazine on 14/8/15.
With their debut full length, Brooklyn-based Best Behavior have produced a beautiful composition of surfy garage rock; an album that makes you want to go on a road trip and pump their cruisey tunes with the windows rolled all the way down. Frontman Alex Gruenburg wrote Good Luck Bad Karma in less than a month (major accomplishment!) and its sound draws from ‘60s influences such as The Kinks and The Yardbirds, as well as contemporary West Coast artists like Best Coast and Wavves.
Good Luck Bad Karma kicks off with the surfy ‘Star Signs’. Backed by catchy guitar streaks Alex confronts his fate as a musician; he wrote this album not long after an astrologer told him he had no future as a musician. In the chorus he sings, ‘I’m wondering, I’m wondering, the fate of my, the fate of my…’ Trying to find a purpose in the world and map out our future is a predicament we can all relate to on some level – but with Best Behaviour there always seems to be a way forward. The flowing tunes that accompany Alex’s thoughts make us want to just go with the flow, to take it all day by day and just let things fall into place.
‘Please Come Back (Baby You’re My Girl)’ is a funky and infectious tune with its chilled out guitar lines both soothing and enlivening. ‘Not Ready’ is slower than the other songs on the album and makes you feel like you’re floating on clouds, as Alex sings, ‘And you should be honest with me, cause inside you know, things move so suddenly and you like it slow’. In the chorus the words, ‘I’m not ready but I’m waiting for you’ carry weight beyond their simple delivery.
‘Magic’ is beautiful with its sugary sweet guitar strokes that encourage listeners to meander and sway throughout its playing. Alex ruminates over the lack of help he has received from his friends: ‘I call my friends the other day, I wonder what they all would say, no help from them, no help for me’. The chorus then becomes more upbeat, as he sings: ‘You know I got my, got my, got my, got my, one girl that I wanted’. We immediately start to think about the difficulty most people face in trying to balance their friendships with their significant other. Alex further emphasises upon this notion when he sings, ‘What if one girl is just a phase, what if one girl she needs my name, what if it all goes down in flames, cause I can’t send you down’.
‘Bad Habit’ is fun and extremely addictive. ‘Under the morning sun, I feel it coming like a bad habit, bad habit. When I go out at night, I feel it creepin’ like a bad habit, bad habit,’ sings Alex. He then follows with, ‘Cause I’m young, I’m feelin’ dumb, I’m movin’ fast when it’s faster’, and his impulsive behavior carries with it an enthralling energy.
‘No Friends’ has a slower gait than the rest of the album, with a rock ‘n’ roll feel to it that is accentuated by its deep guitar tones. Alex sings in the chorus, ‘Some things they come and then they go, my father told me now I know, some things come and then they go’. Once again, Alex appeals to everyday life, the ins and outs of relationships, and how most of us endure them as we grow up and change throughout our lives.
Good Luck Bad Karma captures our hearts with beautiful vocal performances and relatable themes. It’s a gem of an album that is fun and heartwarming, one that can be sung along to, but also believed in as every word feels genuine and meaningful.
Best Behavior – Good Luck Bad Karma is out now via Money Fire Records.