Such Gold – Misadventures
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether the post-hardcore genre is coming or going. The explosion that once seemed set to befall bands like Senses Fail and Silverstein now seems like a far-off pipe dream, while bands like Hundred Reasons and Alexisonfire have called it quits in the past year, and you’d be forgiven for having doubts about the genre’s longevity. There is hope, however. Cracks of light are being held open and widened with the emergence of bands such as La Dispute, Radio Alcatraz and now, as they would hope, Such Gold. The melodic New York-based act launched in 2009, and the world is not far removed from the release of their debut album, Misadventures. With a voice to turn even the weakest microphone into a pipe bomb, and a bagful of riffs to leave you reeling, Such Gold aren’t simply looking to get a foot in the door – they want to blow the entire wall in.
The band that will, in fact, be supporting Senses Fail on a US tour this Spring, open their album as you would expect. That is to say, with a punchy, attention-hooking declaration of total war. ‘Two Year Plan’ is the album’s inaugural track, and considering that lead vocalist Ben Kotin spent much of 2011 recovering from a stabbing that nearly took his life, the early signs all point to an incredible resurgence for him, and a very bright future for the band. ‘Two Year Plan’ is over reasonably quickly, but there’s no respite before ‘Committee Circus’ bursts into life. There’s a little more time to appreciate the lyrical work of Such Gold than in the preceding track, or in fact, any other track on the album, with ‘Committee Circus’ being the longest of the lot, though still only slightly past the three minute mark. As with many bands under the post-hardcore umbrella, this particular quartet don’t believe in breathers or anything of the like, as the jumps into ‘Storyteller’ and then ‘Keyhole M.O.’ are just as sudden. ‘Storyteller’ certainly brings out some brawn within the backing vocals as well, while ‘Keyhole M.O.’ takes steps towards mathcore, with the guitar work of Nate Derby and the drumming of Devan Bentley doing the most to cause this.
‘Another Day’ has similar leanings at first, though it soon dives right into the post-hardcore deep end. It’s around this point that the theme does start to emerge of each song starting in a similar fashion to how the previous track ended. This begins, after a short time, to create the impression that the album is in fact simply one or two long songs. This isn’t a major gripe, of course, as they would still be one or two very good songs if this were the case, but it’s tempting to assume that each individual part could fare better alone if there was a clearer jump between tracks. Luckily, this is something that Such Gold have done with the jump from ‘Survival of the Fondest’ to ‘Tell Yourself’. ‘Tell Yourself’ nevertheless fires on all cylinders, though it could well be the clearer definition of the track as a standalone piece rather than flowing in the middle of a number of others that results in it standing out as a highlight of the album, when the final notes die away. The shouts of “you’re only what you tell yourself you are” that power into the closing stages of the track resound in a way to garner maximum fist pumps and audience vocal participation in a live setting. ‘Tell Yourself’ does eventually die away, and in storms ‘Higher Places’; perhaps Kotin’s best performance on the record. The vocalist is on fire throughout the piece as the album roars through its Autumn tracks, showing no sign of dying away towards the end. Quite the contrary, Misadventures is hell-bent on going out kicking, screaming, and tearing faces off – such an aim that may perhaps be achieved with ‘Understand and Forget’. “Rename your God and say that he is dead”, while an abstract lyric, is also one of the standout lines from the album, bellowed by Kotin with a vigour that is fast becoming a trademark of the incendiary frontman.
Penultimate track ‘Locked out of the Magic Theater’ certainly scoops the prize for the best intro on the record, as Bentley and Derby smash each note over some sublime bass accompaniment from Skylar Sarkis. “Can you meet me in the fucking middle?”, Kotin screams, and even on record its hard to dig down and find the stones to deny him. The vocalist just oozes power, and as the album scorches its way into closing track ‘You Are Your Greatest Threat (The Doctor Will See You Now)’, the momentum shows no signs of grinding to a halt, or even slowing at all. As predicted, the album doesn’t go out without a fight, with Derby’s guitar seemingly more frantic than at any other point during the record.
As Misadventures does draw to a close on the only song after ‘Committee Circus’ to past the three minute mark, the calls of “I hear you talking in your sleep” die away and the final note sustains into silence. Humanity can begin to rebuild, and the damage surrounding whatever speakers happened to be firing off the explosive record can truly be assessed. For Misadventures is truly that; a hand grenade with the pin removed, unleashing sheer inflammable power. For those who do doubt or have reservations about the future of the post-hardcore universe, give Such Gold a spin and you should definitely sleep a little sounder tonight. Unless of course, your ears are still ringing from the beating Kotin & Co. give you.