Bethany Curve

Gold

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Bethany Curve's third album, Gold, finds the band building on their considerable strengths. While the fivesome still remain squarely in the post-shoegazer camp, their abilities seem only to grow stronger with time. "Drag," the album's monstrous opener, is their best number yet. With its yearning, commanding vocals, explosive build-and-release atmospherics, and deeply echoed guitar drones and wails, the song achieves a pure, powerful beauty rivaling the very best of Slowdive or even My Bloody Valentine. If nothing else on the album quite reaches the Elysian heights of "Drag," the band still come awfully close more than once: "Fold in the Floor" has more huge, majestic guitar squalls; "Over and Out" balances a thrashy main hook and forceful drums with blissed-out feedback; and "Strength" begins with various strange crumbling noises before a series of lovely guitar washes float up through the mix and take over. Meanwhile, the album closes on a killer note with "Marasmus," a long jam with sharp drumming, droning vocal chants, and a palpable sense of massed psychedelic power.

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