The swagger behind the beats that kick everything off in “Lucky” could have driven all of the magic we discover in the fifth album from Greye, So Far So Good, this summer, but instead it’s utilized sparingly – giving us some of the cockier and more concisely provocative content this Florida-stationed rock band has recorded so far. In other songs like the Van Halen/Kinks-esque “Over My Head,” the guitars are the greater source for emotional stability over the vocals, but they nonetheless fit into a lyrical scheme made to draw us closer to the singer in every track on this album. Outside of its throttling title cut, So Far So Good doesn’t stick to metallic showmanship exclusively but jars us with as many different layers of artistry this group has to offer.
“Come and Get Me” has more of a southern edge than “Lucky” or “Over My Head” do, but it doesn’t make the transition into a gutter punky “Growing Pains” uncomfortable at all – the exact opposite, truth be told. There’s enough of a link between the aesthetical masonry in “Lucky,” “Growing Pains,” “Come and Get Me” and “Play God” and the occasionally vile and always volatile attitudes of retro cowpunk to establish a thoroughly alternative rock-flavored theme to the composing in So Far So Good, but if you’re worried about running into something campy, this is an album you can trust to stay out of the clownishness too many of its historical predecessors couldn’t help but devolve into.
As much as “Lucky” works as a lead single, the honky-tonkin’ “Shoulda Coulda Woulda” will probably do just as well if given its own platform and music video in the months ahead. This isn’t a statement of self so much as it feels like a tribute to the Floridian backdrop this band has taken so much from up until now, only to refocus its influence into something grungier than it is exotic and backwoods-descendent. “I Don’t Mind” fits into a similar box but sticks its neck into the blues category when it matters the most, lending the second half of So Far So Good a bit of lyrical and melodic introspection that I didn’t think I would hear in such a rough and tumble rock album.
The most complete and spellbinding songwriting Greye do in this tracklist amounts to the rollicking rhythm-based “Burn,” but next to the overdrive-saturated “End of the Line,” I don’t think any song on this record has as much soul and well-appropriated aural pressure. Everything bottles up and reaches a ridiculously climactic fever pitch in this track, and when it’s all over, it’s easy to desire going back through the whole album and just to zero in on the understatedly country-style techniques we might have overlooked the first time around. Call this record whatever you want aesthetically, but if it’s a good time with jumbo guitar chords and a vocalist who doesn’t know how to sing badly to save her own life that you’re after this June, accept no substitute for the mastery of So Far So Good by Greye.