Aside from "Pisa," consisting of mostly silence with slight skronky bits and mood setting, The Golden Years finds Trapist exploring a series of lengthy and exploratory group performances. "The Gun That's Hanging on the Kitchen Wall" starts with a wide-space series of guitar strums, feeling more like an absence than any sort of presence, before the full band joins in on an engagingly woozy flowing improvisation somewhere between mid-'70s Miles Davis-led bands at their more serene and the derivations of those acts in the form of Talk Talk. But there's a spiky, happy energy that always runs to the fore in the overlaid clatter of cymbals and percussion, which then informs the slow ending as a distant hum backs the core guitar and occasional drumming. "The Spoke and the Horse" is initially about somewhat ominous full-on drone and arcs of sound, splashes of cymbals punching through here and there as everything converges and rises, darker bass strums underpinning the screech, before moving into another free-form if less immediately cheery roiling jam and a final section of quieter drum fills and bass and guitar moments in overall silence before a last feedback crackle. "Walk These Hills Lightly" begins with the feeling of nature, insect call as skipping tone, a slight figure as a morning invocation, slow echoed percussion and acoustic/electric guitar parts, also slow and measured, leading the way, with lots of space at play. It lives up to the title and provides an enjoyable contrast to the darker moods earlier in the album.
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett