The Gold Sounds, The Gold Sounds
From out of the wilds of Deer Park, Texas, comes…well, the biggest surprise I got this past holiday season, at least. On their self-titled debut EP, these three young guys initially come off like shaggy-haired, countrified cousins to the whole garage-rock crew, bands like The Datsuns, The Hives, The Von Bondies, The White Stripes (especially roaring opener “Blow My Soul to the Floor”), and outliers like Jet or The Vines — think raw, ferocious guitars, thundering, full-steam-ahead drums, bluesy, throaty vocals, and attitude sweating out their pores.
Don’t dismiss The Gold Sounds as just some bunch of garage-y also-rans, though, because while most of the garage scene scrapes by on attitude and volume alone, bassist/vocalist Sean Donnelly, brother/drummer Dee Donnelly, and guitarist Chris Fuentes have the chops to back it up. Seriously, the songs are astoundingly well-put-together, and that’s discounting the fact that these guys are basically kids.
Beyond that, they drag elements of glam-rock (the sleazy, slinky “Champagne,” which rips the same “All Day and All of the Night” Kinks riff The Hives already swiped), down-home country (the harmonica-tinged walkin’ blues of “Parfum”), and even psychedelic rock (“College Radio”) into their sound to come up with a mixture that brings to mind Kings of Leon more than anything else. And like the Kings, they seem to come by the countriness honestly, rather than adopting it as some kind of shticky affectation.
I have to say, though, that the song on here that dropped me to floor was “College Radio,” a damn near perfect gem of a track that recalls (I know, I know…) Kings of Leon’s “California Waiting” in the best possible way. It starts off slow and languid, like some mid-’90s fuzz-pop band (hence the song title, I’m guessing), then cranks up into a neo-psych blast of thick-sounding guitars, furious drums, and hooky gang vocals that crawls up inside my brain and makes a cozy little home for itself there. Holy fucking shit, is this a good song. When the EP’s over, I have to reach down and pull my jaw back into place.