Go For Gold

Kunst - How To Be Something For Others, While Being Completely Self-Absorbed

Written by: TL on 28/11/2014 19:37:21

It's been three years since the Copenhagen indie group Go For Gold tested the waters for the first time with their self-titled debut EP, and you could argue that it's a long time to wait for a new release from a band with few accomplishments to their name, yet here they are back with a full length album titled "Kunst - How To Be Something For Others, While Being Completely Self-Absorbed" - An album that starts out promising with the melancholic "Putting Out Fires", in which singer/guitarist Kristian Rasmussen sings softly upon a backdrop of ambient bass, guitar and keys, repeating a simple yet elegant chorus in an atmosphere that sounds like feeling a bit lost and isolated in everyday Copenhagen life.

At first, the harmonica that enters the opener in its latter half seems odd though - an organic and somewhat queer sound in the cooled down atmosphere, but it makes a kind of sense once you get to the following tracks. "Mould" and "Evolution Hurts" retracts Rasmussen's vocals to a position that's less in front of the instruments, and his delivery gets more nasal, like a Brett Anderson singing against a quirky mix of the organic and the electronic, almost as if the band has been taking notes listening to indie darlings Yo La Tengo or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The overall sound is best described as relaxed, sentimental, contemplative and dreamy, and works its best when Rasmussen is least nasal in his singing, and when the acoustic guitar that seems constant at times with its pretty basic camp-fire chords, has something on top to provide contrast, in form of either more of the cooled, ambiant keyboard playing, or the Smashing Pumpkins inspired electric guitar vibes that also occasionally haunt the background.

You get the sense that Rasmussen's lyrics are more elaborate than most Danish colleagues, but that his measured performance and the steady tempos do too little to draw the listener's attention to the words. Particularly in the mentioned tracks that follow the opener, the poppiness feels stale as a consequence of the unrelenting bass pulse, but "Pull Me In" is a welcome breath of life even if only by virtue of its higher tempo, and after the percussion-less "Ing As In Crystalling" the record does display more diversity. "Show Me When I'm Aligned" gets a vibrant feeling out of the juxtaposition of the drumming and the piano notes, and the echoing electric guitar under the chorus has a nice bit of power to its arrival. Furthermore "Social Order", which closes the album, holds great promise in the simple, menacing combination of Rasmussen's verse vocals and the stately bass notes (which brings back faint memories of Rasmussen's short-lived former band Cleo Malone), and although the drama never escalates, the growing electronic presence at the edge of the soundscape has an almost meditative quality to it.

All things put together however, Go For Gold do not at any point make you feel like all their puzzles fall into place in the kind of striking wholesome song that could really boost their name. The opening teases your attention well enough, but between that and "Social Order", one too often sits with the feeling that they need to get better at identifying the signature parts in their songs and then stage those a bit more dynamically. Otherwise their appeal will remain niché - An uneven blend of fuzzy indie pop and icy shoegaze for the types with the patience for such a thing - Which might be what they're going for of course. You just get the occasional feeling on "Kunst.." that they could do more if some more experience and some more ambition was injected.

Download: Putting Out Fires, Show Me When I'm Aligned, Pull Me In, Social Order
For The Fans Of: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Suede, Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Listen: facebook.com/goforgoldband

Release date 13.10.2014

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