I had a chance to sit down with the guys from The GoStation to talk to them about their album release for Passion Before Function. With two members of their crew missing, lead singer Doug Levy walked forth very unassuming and humble for a frontman. Matt Friedlander, The GoStation’s lead guitarist, stumbled through the door groggily reassuring me that he had not slept all night in preparation for our meeting. Guitarist Erik Nyquist definitely had the most presence and made sure that everyone knew it was all about him. Throughout my time with the guys I learned about their journey to the release of Passion Before Function, the quarreling that ensued over naming the band, and that they are all holding secrets about their bassist Nick.
Passion Before Function has been long time coming since the release of their first EP, Quiet Zone, in 2005. Since that time they have had one, most disastrous trip by means of a broken down van, to the SXSW festival in Austin, have honed in their song-writing skills, and perfected the art of promoting themselves. With Producer Bill Racine (The Flaming Lips and Rogue Wave) on board for this project they have made an upbeat indie rock album that takes their likeness to Oasis completely to another level. It may have some people wondering if they are indeed British ex-pats, but this 5-piece from New York City snuggle up nicely to the likes of The Strokes as well as their British counterparts.
The GoStation have revived the art of taut pop songwriting with songs such as their first single, “All Together Now,” and the very intense track “Downstreet Station.” Downstreet Station was actually originally in contention to be the band’s name but lost out to what was thought to be The Ghost Station, and by means of complete band miscommunication and mis-alliteration became The GoStation, which will inevitably make you repeat the bands name whenever mentioning to avoid any confusion. The guys certainly have an affinity for the poetic, a direct result of Levy’s writing I’m sure, and just the right formula for writing those quintessential indie-pop anthems that we love so much.
“Battle Lines,” certainly the most pop ballad track on the album was, at first, a tune-out song for me, but only needed a second listen before I fell in love with it as well. Passion Before Function as a whole is catchy and lovable. The vocals aren’t particularly spectacular, but their almost amateur nature makes the album more likeable for the mere fact it is easy to reach Levy’s vocal range, creating a sing-along atmosphere.
Passion Before Function is an enjoyable breath of fresh air amongst the sometimes smogginess of their contemporaries. Reminiscing back on listens to the album, it’s hard to pick a favorite or extremely recognizable song, because, for the most part, all tracks have risen to the occasion. It is always nice to meet musicians before they become household names, and still have at least one foot on the ground, and I can say it was a pleasure meeting The GoStation. They may very well be on their way the top, wherever that may be, and Passion Before Function is what is going to be the catalyst that gets them to that next level.
The Strokes – Is This It
Oasis – Definitely Maybe
Blackpool Lights – This Town’s Disaster