Such Gold

Misadventures

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While its roots may lie in equal parts sunny pop-punk and tortured emo-screamo, one could posit that albums like Such Gold's 2012 debut Misadventures essentially represent the 2010s iteration of the immortal genre known as power pop (cue mental images of vintage power pop pioneers like Big Star or Cheap Trick rolling over in their graves). Clocking in at an efficient half-hour, Misadventures' 12 tracks emphasize clever twin-guitar interplay that matches jerky staccato riffs with serpentine melodies, vocals both sung and barked, albeit with a minimum of the intolerable affectation that afflicts so many young bands of this ilk, and lyrics expressing the typical teenage issues pertinent to its intended audience, like loneliness, doubt, alienation, confusion, hormones, etc. But, rather than dumbing things down to me-against-the-world rhetoric or wallowing in woe-is-me emo whining, these take a more self-possessed, almost mature approach to dissecting what's afflicting the Me Generation. Like, for example, plucking meaningful lessons out of technology's information overload ("Two Year Plan," "Tell Yourself"), carving out meaningful relationships in a world of ulterior motives ("Keyhole M.O.," "Locked Out of the Magic Theater"), and the eternal struggle for individuality amidst a consumerist society ("Committee Circus," "Another Day"). Others still simply capture flashes of life in the band's native New York ("Storyteller"), or pointedly question the increasing escape from life's mounting pressures through psychotherapy and prescription drug abuse ("You are the Greatest Threat (The Doctor Will See You Now)") -- all of which stands in sharp contrast to the faceless middle American mini-dramas, or worse, superficial Orange County fantasies preoccupying many of Such Gold's peers. OK, perhaps that's reading too much into all this, not to mention killing all the legitimate fun contained in many of these tunes, which are relatively melodically uplifting, at least. But the bottom line is there's some welcome substance supporting Such Gold's otherwise popular mainstream formula, even if it's all just entertainment for short attention spans, at the end of the day.

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