Golden Hours are heading out for a handful of live dates later this month coinciding with the second pressing of their debut self- titled LP on Fuzz Club, starting in the UK before heading for the EU. First album release it may be but this is no inexperienced band of musicians finding their feet; I won’t go into too much detail as it is all documented elsewhere but a shared history that includes The Third Sound, Gang Of Four, Tricky and Brian Jonestown Massacre (those are just the ones I’m most familiar with, there are many many more!) gives you the idea.
Notions that it might sound like any of those bands are instantly destroyed by ‘Come and Find Me’ – a pounding hard hitting track, led by a delicious chunky bass and lacerating guitars, sounding like a pitch-black release of pent up tension and aggression. As a long time listener to The Third Sound the most familiar part of the record is Hakon’s voice, always sonorous and slightly melancholy, but musically it is a different beast to that or Gunman & The Holy Ghost. After listening to the record a number of times it seems to fall into a few different sections, although still all holds together as an album.
‘The Forgotten One’ sounds bewitched; a romantic late-night lament; revelation and realisation through a narcotic haze. It works perfectly alongside ‘Japan on my mind’; a gloriously melancholic and broody epic; thoughts of salvation and light rising from despair. These two tracks feel joined in mood and feel and conjures up grainy memories of early Tindersticks….“There is beauty in decline”.
‘Dead On’ throbs with a lush, ominous synth undertow and imperious reverb heavy guitars; gothic and bleak, and ‘Keep On Dreamin’ has a similar dread broodiness; crisp, taut and predatory, exuding threat and barely contained menace. These tracks flicker with vivid images; snow and sleet on furtive grey streets, a background hum of danger…but that’s just what it conjures up in my head…
Three instrumentals feature through the album, like the whole set loosely post punk in feel and sound but all very different in style and pace; from the pulsing synth and devilish screaming discordant guitar of ‘Drone Club’, the rock ‘n’ roll thump of ‘Run Man Run’ with disembodied saxophone and twangy guitars twisting in and around the rhythm section to the galloping bass line and relentless drumming of the more spacious ‘Not Enough’. There’s also ‘Calling Me Home’ – a slightly different feel to the rest, scratchy saturated layers of euphoric guitar noise with an almost dreamy tinge of shoegaze and minimal vocals.
There’s plenty going on musically on this album but there is no fat, nothing that isn’t needed; it is lean and direct, buzzing with tension at times and buried deep in a dark poetic grandeur at others. If you like your post punk sounding melodic, wired with intensity and drenched in atmosphere this one is for you. Hopefully the album isn’t a one-off and these guys can fit in some time to record another set at some point and take that out on the road as well. In the meantime, find their current touring schedule here:
Order LP repress here:
Gary Powell, September 23