The Goon Sax

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The Goon Sax
At Aarhus Volume Festival, Denmark 2017
At Aarhus Volume Festival, Denmark 2017
Background information
OriginBrisbane, Australia
GenresIndie pop, twee pop, dolewave
Years active2013 (2013)–present
LabelsChapter Music
Associated actsThe Go-Betweens
MembersRiley Jones, Louis Forster, James Harrison

The Goon Sax is an indie pop trio from Brisbane, Australia. Formed in 2013, the band consists of Riley Jones, Louis Forster and James Harrison. Forster is the son of Robert Forster, the co-founder of the Go-Betweens. The band released their debut album, Up to Anything, in 2016 on the Chapter Music label.[1] They have performed with Twerps, Blank Realm, U.S. Girls, and Crayon Fields, among other artists.[2]

The band's name is a play on words combining the Australian vernacular for boxed wine, a 'goon sack', with the musical instrument the saxophone.


Forster and Harrison started the Goon Sax when they were still in high school. The two began by collaborating on songs together in Harrison's bedroom. In March 2014, Jones joined the band after taking drum lessons for a month.[2] In September 2015, Chapter Music released their debut single, "Sometimes Accidentally," followed by their second, "Boyfriend," two months later. In early 2016, the band played at Laneway Festival in Brisbane. On 8 April 2016, they released Up to Anything.[3][4]


The Goon Sax at Aarhus Volume Festival 2017.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Vice (Expert Witness)A–[5]

Up to Anything has a score of 82 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 8 reviews, indicating that it has received "universal acclaim" from critics.[6] In December 2016, Billboard included the album on their critics' list of the Top 50 albums of the year, putting it in 49th place. Billboard described the album as a "gorgeous collection of slacker-default rock".[7] Pitchfork Media's Maria Sherman gave the album a 7.0 score out of 10, writing, "Each song is well-structured and wise beyond its years while the messages are confused, delicate and very, very teenage."[1] NME's Matilda Edwards described the album as "near-flawless guitar pop".[4] Robert Christgau gave it an A-, writing that the band was "cruder than even the earliest Go-Betweens, who were a university band after all, and somewhat static at their worst. Usually, however, they're charming at least."[5]

We're Not Talking was included in Loud and Quiet's and Under the Radar's best-albums-of-2018 lists, respectively putting it at #34 and #92.



List of albums, with selected details
Title Details Peak chart positions
Up to Anything
  • Released: March 2016
  • Label: Chapter Music {CH132CD/CH132LP)
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
We're Not Talking
  • Released: 14 September 2018
  • Label: Chapter Music (CH151CD/CH151LP)
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
Mirror II
  • Released: 9 July 2021
  • Label: Chapter Music (CH174CD/CH174LP)
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
60 17


  1. ^ a b Sherman, Maria (18 March 2016). "Up to Anything Review". Pitchfork Media.
  2. ^ a b "The Goon Sax". Chapter Music.
  3. ^ Sendra, Tim. "The Goon Sax Biography". AllMusic.
  4. ^ a b Edwards, Matilda (15 April 2016). "Up to Anything Review". NME.
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (17 March 2017). "Punk Miracles". Noisey. Vice.
  6. ^ "Up to Anything". Metacritic.
  7. ^ Hamilton-Smith, Lexy (23 December 2016). "Brisbane group The Goon Sax cracks Billboard's Top 50 for 2016". ABC News.
  8. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 19 July 2021". The ARIA Report. No. 1637. Australian Recording Industry Association. 19 July 2021. p. 6.
  9. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 July 2021.

External links[edit]