People love to rip on the Goo Goo Dolls. They have had some of the most persistent ballads on alternative rock radio. First there was “Name” from 1995′s “A Boy Named Goo” and then there was “Iris” from the “City of Angels” movie soundtrack which was more “Name”, but with a bit of “The World I Know” thrown in. Natch, these ballads were a million times better than the crap that bands like Matchbox 20 or Sponge were churning out, but hey, people gotta have something to hate.
Here’s a fun thing to know about the Goo Goo Dolls. Back in the 80′s they were a hardcore punk band. While guitarist Johnny Rzeznik tends to be acknowledged as the face of the band these days, it was bassist Robby Takac who fronted the band and penned the majority of the material when they first started out. It wasn’t until their third album that Rzeznik started to take more of a central role.
As far as the first Goo Goo Dolls record goes, it’s pretty solid and full of high octane ragers. There are a couple covers thrown in for good measure, a trend that would continue on subsequent albums. (in this case Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” and Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper”) There’s a scorching instrumental called “Hammerin’ Eggs” and the closing track “Don’t Beat My Ass (With a Baseball Bat)” stands proudly as the total opposite of “Name” and “Iris”.