Such Gold

The New Sidewalk

Written by: PP on 03/12/2014 23:12:36

"Pedestals" was an excellent pop-hardcore EP that launched Such Gold at the forefront of bands you should watch in 2011. Debut album "Misfortunes" a year later did not disappoint, though their bouncy pop-hardcore / pop punk approach had been exchanged with a more angular and more intricate one, drawing from the likes of Polar Bear Club and Title Fight while borrowing some from the melodic hardcore scene as well. It was an explosion of melody and hardcore energy in a tightly packed, yet infectiously catchy format that suggested Such Gold is the real deal when it comes to intelligent music delivered across what is basically a pop punk / melodic hardcore platform at large. Why the band has chosen to abandon all that in favour of such a radical change in sound as sophomore album "The New Sidewalk" is beyond me, and in the process they lose more or less everything that made the band good in the first place.

Indeed, we're dealing with a very different album from what we've used to hearing by Such Gold in the past. The scream-laden explosion points that previously functioned as the passionate climaxes the listener could latch onto and scream from the top of their lungs as they vaulted themselves towards the vocalist in live environments? Gone. Instead, the band have chosen to alter their sound to a far more technically proficient direction, one where the guitars are constantly racing in different directions, shifting their angle and technique, as if to purposefully demonstrate there is more to Such Gold than catchy pop-hardcore choruses and riffs. Sadly, all of this feels totally forced, not unlike Set Your Goals' boring third album "Burning At Both Ends", which felt equally generic despite the band's aspiration to change and to write more ambitious songs.

Here, the more technical songwriting rarely leads anywhere, and when it actually does, the songs belong into the grower category of 'listen to more than 10 times before starting to like them' even in the best case scenario. "Faced", "Don't Park Next To Me", "Axed Away" and "Morrison" are the highlights, but even during these songs, Such Gold often feel uninspired, confused, and disoriented compared to the highly focused melody explosion of their previous material. What's worse, the remaining material on "The New Sidewalk" is forgettable, even annoying at times, thanks to the monotonous nasal croon of their vocalist that previously was masked by the harsher and more hardcore rooted snarls to provide some variety. Throughout this album, we're stuck somewhere halfway between annoying and catchy, never really reaching either extreme, thus continuously stuck in a limbo of meh and okay throughout. Rest assured, this does not stand comparison to their previous releases. Don't feel bad about skipping this one.

Download: Axed Away, Don't Park Next To Me, Morrison, Faced
For the fans of: Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.11.2014
Razor & Tie

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