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

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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.

Dave Everley

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.