American rock/pop punk band Good Charlotte have released a new single called Actual Pain which will feature on their 7th studio album, Generation Rx. The new album is due out on the 14th of September via BMG.
Seeing a new song from Good Charlotte on my music player was a bit of a surprise to me, mainly because I didn’t even know these guys existed still. To say they aren’t on my radar is an understatement. While I remember them from back in their The Young and the Hopeless days with their big hits like Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous, The Anthem and Girls & Boys, but then, who doesn’t know those songs. If nothing else, they are probably still played 50 times a day on Kerrang’s music channel I imagine anyway.
After that album, I may recognise a song or two from The Chronicles of Life and Death but couldn’t name them. It isn’t that I disliked these guys, I just never really got into that style of music at the time. All the Sum41, Blink182, Papa Roach, Bowling for Soup and these guys. Not my thing really. I can appreciate a good catchy tune like Lifestyles but to think they are on to album seven and an 18 year existence boggles the mind.
Well here they are with Actual Pain. A 3 and a half minute track that really makes me question why they are. I get that band’s evolve over time and maybe it is my time out from this band that has missed that evolution. Me expecting them to sound like Good Charlotte from 2000 is unfair and unrealistic but you can only judge what you hear. What I hear is a commercial, electronica covered Linkin Park track. But the bad ones, not the good ones. My 6 year old daughter genuinely asked me if it was a new Ed Sheeran track and while that may be pushing it a bit, kids speak truth.
It is a ballad, starting with an electronic synth line before a very bland and generic riff kicks in. The lyrics are nice enough, emotional and pain filled but the fuzzy drum noise and constant synth is infuriating. The chorus is okay but again the predominant music sound is electronica. When they do allow the guitars to step forward, like in the little solo near the end, Actual Pain improves dramatically but they quickly disappear behind a highly polished sound made to get maximum radio play.
Actual Pain will likely prove to be a success for the band. My 6 year old Ed Sheeran fan loves it. I don’t. While there is nothing wrong with it as a song per se, from a rock/metal perspective it is weak, overly produced, polished generic rock made for mass consumption from a band who look like they are after a decent pay day. Desiring a life style of the rich and famous, perhaps. That is fine, they have every right to chase chart position but I don’t have to like it and I don’t.
You can check out Actual Pain for yourself at the band’s YouTube channel here. You can grab a download of it from all the streaming services here. They will be out on tour soon with a single date in London at Alexandria Palace. Dates and tickets are available here. Find out more on the band at their website, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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Actual Pain by Good Charlotte (Generation Rx)
The Final Score - 2/10