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Goo Goo Dolls - You Should Be Happy EP album review

MOR rock excellence from 90s survivors

Cover art for Goo Goo Dolls - You Should Be Happy EP album

Before Nickelback arrived on the scene, the Goo Goo Dolls were the rock band everybody loved to hate. Much of the opprobrium was centred around their 1998 hit Iris, the rom-com soundtracking heart-tugger that turned them into the alt.rock Bon Jovi.

But that song showed that the trio had the kind of songwriting chops their fellow 90s foot-soldiers could only dream of, and 20 years on, they haven’t lost them.

They’ll never be mistaken for Napalm Death, but this five-track EP finds them straightening up the poppier leanings of their recent albums: opener Tattered Edge/You Should Be Happy has the kind of blockbuster chorus bands were supposed to have stopped writing in 1991, while the plaintive last-drink-at-the-bar Walk Away bears trace elements of their blue-collar punk beginnings.

It won’t change any minds, but being uncool has never sounded so appealing.