Review : Golden Silvers - True Romance
NmeUntil someone decides to make real my imaginary band The Frank Butcher Booze Explosion – a three-piece punk rock and soul band, based on The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, only fronted by a hairy-chested, fat Cockney singer wearing tinted bifocals and screeching things like “Oooh, yeah, Pat, you muthafucker…” – Golden Silvers may well be the worst idea for a band ever conceived.
A guitarless trio from London with a penchant for sucrose-sweet three-part harmonies and lyrics even Justin Hawkins might file in the ‘save for a concept album about an orphaned unicorn’ pile (“behold his golden wings!” anyone?), I wouldn’t blame you for thinking, “Sounds like hard work – I’ll go with The Enemy instead...” Yet that’d be a crying shame – for this is one of the most special debuts in ages; a veritable feast of ideas, speculative fancy and fun.
From the Bowie-indebted folk rock of ‘Another Universe’ to the operatic Dexys Midnight Runners ska of the title tune, you may consider 2008’s winners of the Glasto unsigned competition to be the natural heirs to Mystery Jets (before they thought, “Cripes, we better write some proper pop songs if we’re going to actually have a career...” that is). Not to say this isn’t pop music alright – ‘Please Venus’ is the kind of acid-fried melodic wonder Super Furry Animals used to write before anyone stopped giving
a shit. But there’s nothing very populist about it. Nevertheless if you a) smoke weed, b) like your dad’s old prog-rock records, or c) like your music to favour
a curved line over a straight one in getting from A to C, you’ll find much to enjoy. Consider ‘Here Comes The King’, which manages to sound both uniquely British and totally Martian. British because the brilliantly named Gwilym Gold has a honeyed wetness to his vocals not heard since Elvis Costello. Martian because it sounds otherworldly, the kind of Technicolor eccentricity musicians have been looking for since people stopped selling LSD at gigs.
As debuts go, ‘True Romance’ is an astonishing statement of intent – if they’ve got any more ideas left after the 10 tunes here we could have a rather special band on our hands. Certainly better than The Frank Butcher Booze Explosion anyway....full text
GuardianGolden Silvers's superb single True Romance - the essence of Wham's Club Tropicana and Haircut 100's Favourite Shirts distilled into four funky LCD Soundsystem minutes - is not a one-off. This eclectic debut continues the mood of excited rediscovery, rifling through doo-wop, Britpop, jerky dance-pop and Roxy/Bowie glam exuberance with similar success. However, while revelling in the dewy-eyed but wistful feel of 80s new pop and the Beach Boys, it sounds more timeless than retro. This is down to a combination of masterful songwriting and lyrics that introduce dark edges to the sunny feel. Gwilym Gold's lyrics must be among the most troubled ever delivered by a man wearing a medallion, as he sublimely dissects lost loves, Britannia's decline and the mythology of death from a broken heart. Indeed, funk opus Shakes's line "it feels like joy and it feels like pain" is a microcosm of True Romance's many charms....full text
Musicomh2009 is barely a quarter old and it seems we may have already found the single of the year. True No9 Blues (True Romance) is a joyous amalgam of glam, funk and electro with a dash of modern-day synth pop thrown in for good measure. It sounds like Prince fronting Spandau Ballet, remixed by Nile Rodgers. Lyrically it's utter nonsense - "love your brothers and sisters" - which only makes it that much more uplifting, especially when you find yourself wailing the chorus whilst playing 'air keyboard' in a packed tube train.
But we're not reviewing the single, rather the accompanying album, which after all that promise is something of a minor let down. For a start there's nothing as inventive or exuberant as the (near) title track, and there are at least two songs that reminded this listener of The Feeling, a sentence I hoped I'd never have to write.
Perhaps we need some perspective though. This is, after all, their debut album and though there are faults there are also enough signs that they know what it takes to bother the charts. Plus, in front man Gwylim they have a focal point, a man who dresses like a psychedelic street urchin, dances exuberantly behind his keyboard (they don't have a guitarist) and whose voice resembles the London lilt of Elvis Costello were he to gargle marbles. Words don't just tumble from his mouth; they seem to flop out, almost lazily....full text
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