Six years after their last studio album, Pulley’s esteem driven engine keeps on rolling with a new record titled The Golden Life. As one of the bands that shaped melodic punk, this album sees Pulley sticking to the sound they helped define in the 90’s. And why shouldn’t they? Very few bands do it better than these guys.
The SoCal punk veterans come out swinging on the opening track “Repeat Offender”. This song does an excellent job setting the tone for things to come, putting the band’s impressive musicianship and the iconic voice of frontman Scott Radinsky on full display. “Two Winds”, “Northbound” and “Sad Song” are a few more standout songs. With a healthy dose of unrelenting guitar riffs, powerful percussion, and the earnest lyricism Radinsky and co. are known for, these would fit perfectly on any classic Pulley LP.
Something these guys have always benefitted from is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to drummers. For fuck’s sake, Jordan Burns played on their first three records; that dude’s one of the greatest punk drummers of all time! Having said that, I’d be remiss not to mention the newest man to sit upon Pulley’s throne: Sean Sellers. You might know him from a little band called Good Riddance. Sellers fits right in with the band and delivers the kind of performance you’d expect from a musician of his stature. In other words, the drums on this record are very, very good.
The title track is undoubtedly the highlight of this record for me. The rhythmic variety showcases Sellers’ chops very nicely, the melodic lead guitar parts are great, and it has by far the most memorable chorus of all 12 songs on The Golden Life. “The engine has failed after blazing a trail of hopes and dreams, though it seems… destiny, broken history. They hide away online daylight, can we set them free and restore their golden life?”, Radinsky pleads as the band pounds away at their instruments.
Many veteran bands plod along, releasing a clunker of an album every few years and resting on their mid-90’s laurels. Pulley isn’t one of those bands. They take their time to make new music and always put their best foot forward; The Golden Life is proof of that. If you like anything this band has ever done, odds are you’ll like this record.