Album Review: So Far, No Good by Really Great

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Boston alternative punk band, Really Great, releases their first album, So Far, No Good, traversing the universal feeling of loss.

Half a decade of work comes to a close for Boston-based alternative punk band Really Great, as they release their debut album, So Far, No Good. The album highlights each member of the band as they take the listener on a modern punk-rock journey. They pull inspiration from artists like Jeff Rosenstock, Nana Grizol, and Laura Stevenson as they attempt to explore the meaning behind loss with their somber lyrics and powerful instrumentation. 

Really Great originally started as a solo project by lead singer Owen Harrelson in 2014. From there, he recruited some of his friends into the band. The second track on So Far, No Good,JO Bud,” was written by Harrelson in 2013 before the band as a concept even existed. According to Harrelson, the band has been playing together since 2019 and completed writing the album a year after.

Bodybag,” one of the middle tracks on the album, perfectly embodies the band’s energy. Drummer, Nick Dussault, lead guitarist, Jake Cardinal, and bassist, Fenn Macon immediately burst into a fast-paced punk groove to start the song. Lead singer Owen Harrelson’s raw tone is mirrored by his friend, Rae Fagin, as the two belt the song together during the bridge. “Bodybag” speaks directly to what being lost in your twenties is like; Harrelson shouts, “Thinking of the future makes me nervous / Everyone believes that I’ll lose my purpose / I can’t tell you where I want to be.” The chaotic and high energy of the song adds to the theme of feeling lost and confused, nailing their message home to the listener.

Anthony’s Theme,” one of Harrelson’s favorite tracks on the album, stands out from the rest of the record. Though just a fifty-second piano interlude, it perfectly exemplifies the feeling of loss and sadness that the band means to reflect in the album. According to Harrelson, he wrote the part and then handed it off to Cardinal, who perfected it into what is heard on the album today. The gently played simple piano line stands alone accompanied by no other instruments providing an oasis in the middle of the other high energy punk songs that make up the album.

In “Whole Again,” Dussault, Macon, and Cardinal steal the show with their powerful intro. Cardinal kicks it off, wailing on his guitar, and is joined by Dussault slamming on his drums, as Macon links them together, driving the track with a dynamic bassline. The band also demonstrates effortless control as they move into halftime, which emphasizes Harrelson’s lyrics: “I’m so sick and tired of all the loose ends / Even as they go away / It’s hard to forget your friends.”

Hadley,” another unique track off the album, takes a break from the band’s traditional punk sound as Harrelson sings alone, accompanied only by acoustic guitar. Harrelson’s raw voice and whistling deepens the melancholy nature of his lyrics: “Never in my life it seems have I known sorrows quite like these / And I hope to god I stay afloat.” Cardinal joins in with his electric guitar at the end, bringing the song to a solemn close.

Really Great packs a punch with their debut album showing off their alternative punk stylings and unique album setup, with multiple songs being under a minute. Each track on So Far, No Good adds to the band’s exploration of loss and moving on, emphasizing the band’s goals of reminding listeners that loss is a shared experience and that no one is as alone as they feel. 

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