Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Review: Such Gold - Misadventures

 There's undeniably something of a re-assessment going on in the world of pop punk over the past several months, in the sense that, it's becoming more dominated by the punk element of the genre name once more. As the relevance and popularity of the overly glossy bands begins to fade away, the most celebrated pop punk belongs to those that unleash an extra layer of brutality and mix it with metalcore, obviously A Day to Remember and Your Demise come to mind, while other bands have actually simply given the pop punk formula the modern day update on the frantic sound of the original style of the genre that The Descendants originally crafted - think of The Wonder Years or Our Time Down Here. However, no matter what way it's done, it's always done with a smile on the face and a power to brighten anyone's day. Such Gold prove themselves to be an exception to this rule with their debut full length Misadventures.

 They find themselves in the latter category of pop punk bands. meaning they're the type of band that has followed the roots of the genre ever since The Ramones sung songs about hanging out and having fun in the California Sun. Yet the Rochester quartet go off and do the opposite as the snarls of Ben Kotin on Committee Circus are splattered with caustic bitterness and nihilism. It feels like a living contradiction in such a sense. Kotin growls as though his world is ending to the sound of energetic hooks that bands like Apologies, I Have None and Fighting Fiction makes so positive.

 The album blitzes along with a range of 2 minute punk blasters fueled by complete rage and melancholy. The rough production makes the spiked up riffs and battering drum beats a rougher force that effortlessly drags listeners out of any painted fantasy that pop punk has offered and into the grit and destruction that paints up these songs.

 This formula isn't particularly deviated from at any point during Misadventures, but the band seem capable of finding new ways to keep songs exciting and in many ways bleaker. Amongst this swelling of total despair, there are some really great melodies and classy guitar solos to be found on the likes of Survival of the Fondest and Locked Out of the Magic Theater. But it's the epic closer of You Are Your Greatest Threat (The Doctor Will See You Now) that really sums up the kind  of reaction Some Gold wish to pine from listeners, fusing post hardcore melodies with jagged punk riffage, while spreading lyrics both grim and philosophical, leaving listeners pining for more whether they enjoyed the album overall or not.

 In many ways, Misadventures is the start of what could be seen is anti-pop punk. Such Gold uphold the principles of pop punk but unlike most of their peers choose not to sing about the light at the end of the dark tunnel and instead choose to bury themselves deeper within it. Within this, there's an interesting juxtaposition to be found that adds another page to the realms of pop punk re-obtaining it's punk element. But until that is worked out,we have this album to constantly depress us. And with enough luck, all of pop punk will become a grey slate of doom and misery.

Such Gold's Misadventures is out now via Razor + Tie.

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