The first thought to cross my mind when I first heard that the front man for Ball Park Music Sam Cromack was releasing an album under the solo moniker of My Own Pet Radio was “No, you can’t do this to me Sam!!! Is this the beginning of the end of Ball Park…. I refuse!!!!!“. Once I had finished having my extestential crisis, cried a bit I then continued to read and see that it wasn’t going o be the end of life as I know it and instead was intact a unique insight into further tinkering of Sam.
Goodlum is an album that presents itself as an low-fi, DIY bedroom indie-rock album. Something that dabbles into glitchy electronica and loud rock vibes at the same time. The album is very much a marriage between two worlds of software based digital production and the physically produced world.
It’s an rather open and honest feeling album that see’s Sam explore different realms of sound and songwriting. Opening the album with the link “Fuck all this fake shit,” Tangible Heart is a rather forward and serene acoustic starting point. It’s veiled in a sense of mystery and unknown as we walk through the soft acoustic guitar and Sam’s crooning vocals. It’s very peaceful like diving into a crystal blue water, of course if the first track is the dive then Don’t Press Send, Companion is the splash. It’s a loud somewhat chaotic turn early in the album which sets the loud, boisterous tone of the first half which includes highlight track No Great Mystery and title track Goodlum.
If you’re looking for that more synthesised sound that Ball Park had on their last album though then checking out the track Never-Ending Wave which comes after transitioning instrumental LUV Basement Theme.
Goodlum is a great honest album. There’s been a lot of forethought that has gone into the production of the tracks and writing of the lyrics. You wouldn’t think that this was an album that had been pieced together from years of demo’s and fragments, you’d think that it’s an interconnected collection of work, built up together to create something honest, tangible and brilliant. It stands a lone as a reflection of the stylings and exploration that Sam Cromack has gone through over the past years. It’s best to enter into My Own Pet Radio with a blank slate in terms of what you think Sam’s style is, because if you do it opens you up to accepting this glorious new world of sound that he has created.