Such Gold – The New Sidewalk


Artist

Album

The New Sidewalk

Label

Razor and Tie / Cooking Vinyl Australia

Year

2014

For Fans Of

Set Your Goals - A Loss For Words

Summary

Fun, punchy and unexpected.

Rating

90 / 100

Whether you like Such Gold’s sophomore LP ‘The New Sidewalk’ or not, it’s impossible to deny that at its core, it’s one of the most sincere records of 2014. Everything about this record screams originality, authenticity and most significantly, relatability. Even its cover, picturing an overwhelmingly non-extraordinary street, plays into its somewhat suburban, somewhat everyday focus. That, coupled with Such Gold’s lyrical transparency, technical skill and the record’s punchy honesty is enough to force listeners to conclude that yes, this band is all heart and yes, ‘Food Court Blues’ are a thing.

The record kicks itself off the ground with ‘Engulfed’, which brings to the table ominous riffs, and a skilful stop-start. But it also introduces the record’s high quality production, and its potent vocals, which aid with its story telling to turn each track into a palpable journey. Songs like ‘Faced’,‘I Know What I Saw’, ‘No Cab Fare’ and ‘Morrison’ indicate the value of having vocals that are distinguishable in the occurrences that this record chooses to share, from awkwardly understandable encounters with paint fumes to taxis to police officers. ‘Food Court Blues’ by far takes the cake for lyrics, with an idiosyncratic Killers-esque existential crisis: ‘are we human, or are we mall?’ Subject matters like paranoid human interaction on ‘Don’t Park Next To Me’, further add to the fact that these songs have an everyday engagement and are, quite wonderfully, an absolute adventure.

Not to say that the story telling of  ‘The New Sidewalk’ is the only component that makes it enjoyable. Its experimental instrumentals equally render it a pleasure to listen to, particularly because the songs don’t subscribe to a generic structure, which means that your expectations don’t fully apply.  Its masterful production (kudos to Bill Stevenson) refreshingly makes the bass and drums as discernible as its kicky riffs. ‘Axed Away’ and ‘Nauseating’ present us with drums that sound real, standing out in a way that makes you appreciate how snappy and sharp they are, particularly in tempo changes. Technically, the guitar playing on the record also cements its place as admirable, which is evident in the lead riffs on ‘Frying In the Mix’ and titular track, ‘The New Sidewalk.’ Such Gold’s musical talent, in confluence with their lyrical flair, makes the record more accessible, and is a sure sign that previously apathetic listeners are about to start paying more attention.

Conclusion

Essentially, ‘The New Sidewalk’ sees Such Gold evolve. While it may inflict inertia on the more resistant members among their fan base, it’s a clear step forward. The risk of dialing down the more hardcore tendencies of Such Gold and composing this resonant, unexpectedly brilliant effort has evidently paid off. Here’s the thing about ‘The New Sidewalk’: Such Gold live up to their name.

Tracklisting

1. Engulfed In Flames
2. Faced
3. Axed Away
4. Food Court Blues
5. No Cab Fare
6. I Know What I Saw
7. Nauseating 
8. Don’t Park Next To Me 
9. Morrison 
10. When It Gives
11. Frying In The Mix 
12. The New Sidewalk

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