Album Review: Such Gold – “The New Sidewalk”

The newest installment from Such Gold is another progressive step forward and further refinement of the bands complexities and intensity. They have forged an unmistakable sound for themselves amidst a scene full of sad-boy copy cats and forgettable 90’s clones, reaching between pop-punk and hardcore while adapting progressive and technical ideas.

The sheer volume and caliber of material this group has put out in just a few years across a variety of EPs, splits and full length is testament to their work ethic and prolific song writing. They are also often credited for their technical prowess in way that Wilhelm Scream, Strung Out, Shai Hulud and others are revered. You can’t touch these guys, they are on another level from the rest and it’s never been more apparent than on this sophomore album ‘The New Sidewalk’.

On first listen it’s a noticeably better recording than earlier works and the production has more polish and balance to it. Guitars are panned hard and sounding perfectly huge but it’s the difference between what happens on the left side as to what happens on the right that is worth giving attention. Lot’s of harmonies, riffs and well thought out guitar parts dueling and blending. Interesting fact: the bands original second guitarist left sometime after the release of their first album and so it was the band’s vocalist Ben who stepped in to pick up the role along with fronting the band. So he’s singing and playing = Wow.

Understandably the syncopation between vocals and the band is also at a new level. If you thought they were intense with the all the riffs, stop-starts and time changes before > hold on to your butts.

Drumming is handled by Matt Covey (Shai Hulud) who’s skill set of techy/hardcore stuff fits beautifully with where Such Gold is at. The drum sounds are fantastic, it’s a very tight and punchy mix which doesn’t muddy up the bottom end when cranked up loud. This is good news if you enjoy listening to the busy work behind the skins but also good news for the bass guitar which suddenly becomes all the more distinguishable and effective! Previously outshined by the 6 strings, the bass is now a real contender for stealing your attention away from all the other things going on!

Vocally Ben is delivering a more controlled and less hoarse performance. Melodic passages sung with smooth harmonies and backing vocals stand out amongst the screams and shouts which all come stock-standard with Such Gold. There’s an evolution going on here and whilst it’s nowhere near the contrast of what Polar Bear Club did…you’ll here it on ‘The New Sidewalk’.

There’s no need to break down song after song, what needs to be said is simply this: Such Gold have never sounded so good. It’ll take time to get familiar with these new tracks but there is no doubt that it has every ingredient needed to make more than a few top-albums-of-the-year lists. They have improved on ‘Misadventures’ in practically every way from production and song writing right down to the killer artwork that’s just as trippy as it is instantly recognizable and iconic. A fantastic record!

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