Born of the streets of Far Rockaway, New York is Olden Goldies, Tall Juan’s first full length album, released on BUFU Records. It’s fast-paced, energy-filled, and drenched in the New York grime that the Ramones had once embodied in their heyday.
Olden Goldies begins with “I Don’t Know What to Do,” a track that was originally released on Tall Juan’s 2015 EP Why Not? The song gives a taste of what’s to come; it hints at the pure energy and explosive hooks that are a continuous theme in the album, and also is representative of the other previously released tracks that were rerecorded for Olden Goldies that have a cleaner production.
The album, though just days old, is already a classic due to the quintessentially rock ‘n’ roll sounds (think Ramones taking a journey through time into the late ‘50’s/early ‘60’s and recording an album in current day NYC). It’s also the perfect balance of gentle, softer tunes like “Baby” and the upbeat, aggressive, but melodic punk tracks like “Cuida Coches.”
When Tall Juan sings Sharing good times with you / listening to Ramones in “I Wish I Knew,” it’s difficult to not be immediately charmed. It begs to be danced to while in a lucid daydream. Meanwhile, racing tracks like “Falling Down” and “It’s True” send the heart on a parading rampage until it has fallen in complete and utter love with Olden Goldies.
No one track stands out, because the album as a whole is an all-star lineup of irresistible Tall Juan tunes. When considering the driving guitar lines, the pleasantly shrill croons and yells, and the infectious melodic punk that Tall Juan executes with ease, Olden Goldies is unstoppable. The only thing that could make the album even better is if Tall Juan’s ardent acrobatic live stage antics (which include, but are not limited to, splits, leg kicks, and dancing that goes unrivaled) could be experienced alongside the record. But with the passion and energy Olden Goldies bleeds purely through its sound, it’s really not all that far off from encompassing the full Tall Juan experience.