There’s been an infectious wave of punk-tipped power pop in the past few years that fizzes over like shaken soda. From Martha, PUP, and Bad Moves to Chris Farren and Jeff Rosenstock’s sunshine soak as Antarctigo Vespuccci, it drags the mall rack of pop punk’s past out of the flickering fluorescents and into the open air. With a skate-punk heart of gold, it shines with a radiant positivity that’s a bit hard to ignore. Shorn of many of their ‘90s forbears’ winking sneers and youthful humor, this wave feels baptized in the full force of amplifiers pushed hard enough to cave in the most ardent VFW hall drop ceiling. Joining up the UK ranks, Good Grief are doused in the same feel good fizz of their contemporaries. Skewing more Merge classic class than Epitaph deep cuts, the band snips from Superchunk’s indie pounce and pins it to Jawbreaker’s breakneck pacing.
Anthemic, multi-harmony vocals stalk the choruses here while breathless guitars sprint through vein-rippled riffs, but the band doesn’t shy away from a few acoustic strums hanging onto the bumper of their bounce either. The sweat from the set streaks down the speakers while the band grins through the grit. Pretty much every moment of Shake Your Faith feels like they’re having a blast and that feeling soaks through the wires and into the skin of the listener. There are records that feel like youth incarnate, whether or not they were created by youth is irrelevant. Not to drag Superchunk into it once more, but the constrained chaos of “I Got Cut,” was no less vital than “Tie a Rope to the Back of the Bus.” Good Grief have hit the pit and probably the parent pickup just as often, but that feeling of soaring when a song like “The Pony Remark” is on the speakers is timeless.