Bars Of Gold

Of Gold

Written by: PP on 02/11/2010 01:58:09

Oh how I've missed those vocals. The infamous sore-throated, explosive bark of Marc Paffi, his inimitable and seminal voice that helped make Bear Vs. Shark a cult band in the first half of the 2000s prior their break up in 2005. He takes near-perfect advantage of the quiet/loud dynamic, plus a host of other techniques to make his delivery sound entirely unpredictable, which is a large part of its appeal. He's also a multi-instrumental talent, having written guitars and keyboards for many Bear Vs. Shark songs, which really comes across on the debut album of his new project Bars Of Gold, "Of Gold".

Though many bands have been inspired by the Bear Vs Shark sound since, no one has come quite as close as Bars Of Gold to replicating their sound so closely, which is a no-brainer considering Paffi's involvement. But basically you could label Bars Of Gold as a logical evolution from Bear Vs Shark, a project that takes most of the qualities from the defunct band and expands them into new directions. Thanks to Paffi's unique vocals, it sounds comfortably familiar, but yet it sounds wholly different at the same time. The quirky, explosive quiet/loud dynamic forms the core of the sound presented on "Of Gold", but then the band injects quirky banjo rhythms, and even experimental keyboards that bring to mind cheesy synth pop, really pushing the envelope. See the controlled synth chaos of "Heaven As A Heater" as an example of Bars Of Gold sounding like Bear Vs Shark in an 80s pop mode - and it sounds pretty neat!

Despite the reach into a number of different stylistical surprises, "Of Gold" is still at its heart a late 90s/early 2000s post-hardcore album. It contains a notable quirk to its rough and garage-ish sound, a flavor of experimentalism and innovation that is seldom experienced on modern rock albums. They never go over the top in this sense as everything is kept at an enjoyably accessible level, despite the oddities and weird soundscapes on offer. But truth be told, "Of Gold" is definitely more of a niché album than any of Bear Vs Shark's masterpieces, but then again, it sounds so much like them that any fan can not afford to avoid this one.


Download: Heaven Has A Heater, Up Up Up
For the fans of: Bear Vs Shark, Fugazi
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.08.2010
Friction Records

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