Band Spotlight: Goalkeeper

>>For any musician, revisiting the sounds of the past while simultaneously acknowledging the present is a solid practice in order to create something that will grab audience attention. In the case of Philadelphia’s Goalkeeper, it appears to be the standard. The trio, rounded out by bassist/vocalist Ryan Beebe, guitarist Marc Juliano, and drummer Cody Ritchie, pay homage to the poppy and lighthearted content of Blink-182; while replicating the easycore chugging of Four Year Strong, and ultimately brewing their own unique approach to memorable pop punk/rock music.

Goalkeeper originally formed in July 2016. After all of their respective projects fell apart in the Southern New Jersey/Philadelphia area, Juliano was looking for an extra band to play a show he booked, and decided to encourage Beebe and Ritchie to open the show with him as a cover band. In true pop punk fashion, they were jokingly called The Pizzas. Despite not sounding like anything other than an inside joke among friends, they eventually realized how much “fun they had jamming together” and decided to become Goalkeeper. The band eventually complied some singles into their first 3-song EP “Gut Feeling” in July 2017, which showed a penchant for catchy songwriting and humorous, yet honest lyrics. Goalkeeper continued working on their craft and playing shows and eventually released their second EP “Bad Times Don’t Last” in November 2018; which found them collaborating with Rochester native, Kevin Mahoney (Joywave, Hit The Lights) for production who Juliano states “really challenged us to go beyond what we normally do which just brought the best out of us”. Songs like “Sunshine” (which have clocked in over half a million streams on Spotify) and “Chances” showcase how well the band are at crafting memorable heartfelt choruses that vacation in your head after a listen. Goalkeeper kept the momentum going by doing smaller regional tours and opening for national bands such as Can’t Swim and Real Friends in the Philly area. After turning some heads with the quality of “Bad Times Don’t Last”, Goalkeeper eventually signed to Lost Music Collective in 2019; which is co-founded by Less Than Jake drummer Vinnie Fiorello, who originally started the label Fueled By Ramen that merely jumpstarted the careers of pop giants such as Panic! At the Disco and Paramore to name a few.

Goalkeeper entered the studio again in January 2020 re-enlisting familiar faces such as Mahoney while also having recording/engineering duties done by Will Pugh of gold-selling pop/rock artist Cartel, and mixing/mastering duties performed by Seb and Will Barlow of U.K. juggernauts Neck Deep. What emerged is their best release to date: “Life in Slow Motion”. The five song EP drops September 25th and further explores Goalkeeper’s ability to re-create and pay homage to the massive pop-punk sounds of the 2000’s while maintaining their own identity. The first single they released “Happy” opens with a bass line and Beebe singing in a tone reminiscent of Mark Hoppus and eventually pushing into verses with a rougher bravado over chugging guitars. The song finds the band in a chorus that looks to wish a former lover to “be happy” and descending into a slow paced breakdown that makes you feel like you’re kicking up dirt in a mosh pit at the Vans Warped Tour in 2008. Upon one listen, it’s easy to see the band resurrecting a dead genre to life with their clever songwriting. The second single “Just Say It”, which drops next Friday, and is my personal favorite off the record, uncovers the band treading new territory with an emotional banger that will find you humming along and thinking about people who aren’t in your life anymore. “Just Say It” follows the bands goal of developing new lyrical tropes as it was the “first time we touched on a lot of negative emotions such as self-doubt, feeling stuck, and as though life is in slow motion”. The rest of the record offers similarly themed songs and the final track ends with a gang chant that clamors for crawling on top of people’s heads in order to sing along.

Goalkeeper originally had a busy year planned. They had over 100 shows cancelled due to COVID-19, including a trip down south to Gainesville to play the legendary Fest. Luckily, they are still deciding to bless us with their music and hopefully they’ll be able to get back on the road as they clearly would be a fun band to watch live. Check out their video for “Happy” here and be on the lookout for “Life in Slow Motion” dropping September 25th on streaming services through Lost Music Collective. I promise you won’t be disappointed!