If your father ever played in the James Gang, there is no way your band is allowed to suck. When your drummer is a talented enough musician to write the string arrangements, you know you’re going to be tight. Such is the case, on both counts, with Starving Goliath. Rhythm guitar player Garth Shack’s dad played in the legendary Cleveland trio and drummer Forest Christenson does write string arrangements. On top of that, they’ve got one of Van Halen’s former tour managers clawing and scratching to get them noticed.
There’s a lot to notice in Starving Goliath’s music, too. Of course there is the requisite funky, guitar crunch that comes from being two degrees separated from Joe Walsh, but there is also the sophisticated rhythmic interplay of drums and bass that brings to mind the stuff Mike Watt and George Hurley were doing with the Minutemen and later FIREHOSE. It’s sophisticated, but not just for the sake of being sophisticated. It stays solid and true enough to the Pop ethos to provide extremely catchy hooks.
Once everything from ass to foot is hooked by the rhythm section, the electric guitars put listeners into a full nelson. The leads have that Funk 49 wail that can just as easily morph into post-Ska as it can Heavy Metal, and the full, tube-driven (not overdriven) sound of the rhythm guitar provides breadth to the songs. Sometimes, it is hard to tell which guitar is the lead and which is the rhythm, because they blend with the same sort of fluidity as Woody and Keith’s.
And, these guys just got out of high school.