Vancouver four-piece Winona Forever make tightly wound surf-rock with lyrics that deftly capture the social anxieties of many twenty-something year olds. Their music is so easy to latch onto that last year I called Winona Forever’s debut EP the most relatable EP I’d heard all year, a title which I still stand by. Less than a year later, the band is back with a new batch of accessible track, their debut LP This is Fine.
It’s hard not to compare This is Fine. to the web comic where the album title comes from. In the comic, a dog sits in front of a cup of coffee as his house is ablaze in the background. Unmoved by the growing flames, the dog says, “this is fine.” It’s an image that’s become a symbol for the tumblr generation whenever shit goes down in your life but you either ignore it or pretend that everything is okay until, hopefully, it becomes okay. Throughout the album we find Winona Forever’s Ben Robertson and Rowan Webster-Shaw trading stories about the metaphorical fires in their own lives. The flames lick high throughout the album, doused by all consuming romantic feelings found in “Shrek ~ Chic” and “Hedges”, lethargy in “Fine,” and a lack of self-confidence in “#1 summer hit to grind to.”
This is Fine. is like an account of an after work or after school hangout between buds where the truth is told, commiseration is abound, and despite all the anxieties shared, a whole lot of fun is had. On This is Fine, Winona Forever make music that’s a whole lot more than just “fine.”
And for the nostalgic listener, the record sounds particularly good wobbling in cassette tape format.
Top Tracks: “Shrek ~ Chic “; “Smoothie”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)