Golden Silvers - True Romance
Chances are if you’ve heard anything about Golden Silvers, it’d be that they dare to make music without a guitarist. Instead they ply their trade with a piano in the lead instrument position. So you’d be forgiven for thinking that their album would consist of heartfelt ballads, slow tempos and maybe the odd tear jerking classic a la Candle In The Wind. However, Elton John this is not.
Opening track Another Universe almost fools you into thinking that this album is going to be about ballads given its slow, almost epic, instrumental that builds as the track progresses. That’s not to say it’s not a corker of an opening track and doesn’t give little hints of what the album entails - Brilliantly inventive lyrics (“Their eyes were like a crucifix/Their lips were as pink as Cadillacs”), the distinctively British vocals of lead singer Gwilym Gold and lots of synth.
If Ladyhawke is like, “biting into a nice, juicy portion of the 80s”, then Golden Silvers seem determined to transform every dance floor around into a permanent 80s night where everyone is magically transformed, like Stars In Their Eyes, into a perm-sporting New Romantic telling every Tom, Dick and Frankie to relax. This intent is never clearer than on title track True No.9 Blues (True Romance) from its catchier-than-swine-flu refrain of “true romance” to its superb funk disco beat. The lyrics are generally nonsense but are still imaginatively descriptive and they do come with advice that everyone should follow to “Find some time for tea and wine and valentines/Forget about the big picture”.
After this comes Magic Touch which carries on in the same infectiously happy tone, which manages to out-synth the title track and yet does it without conveying a sense of the band trying to fill every silence with noise. Just when you think you have the band nailed and stereotyped, they hit your eardrums with the morose, downbeat My Love Is A Seed That Doesn’t Grow. Gone is the happiness. Gone are the synths. In come eerie “ooo’s” and depressive lyrics (“I lost my love for you my love/A long, long time ago”) and what you’re left with is a powerful track that would stop anyone still pulling shapes from the previous two tracks straightaway, such is its intensity.
This dark tone continues with Here Comes The King and Shakes, although the latter does come wrapped up in a slightly more upbeat instrumental, and now you might think that you have Golden Silvers wrapped up in a nice musical genre: A band who release upbeat tracks for singles to appeal to a wider audience but they really rival Joy Division in the happiness stakes with their album tracks. However it is now they choose to unleash a track that wouldn’t look out of place in Eurovision, it’s certainly camp and cheesy enough. Queen Of The 21st Century brings back the happiness until it oozes out of every note and just because there hasn’t been enough in the previous tracks, ends with a 40 second synth solo.
Now if you’ve figured the pattern by now, it’s clear that Golden Silvers aren’t a band to limit themselves to one style of music and, true to their form, Please Venus mixes the darker lyrics of Here Comes The King with a soulful instrumental. It’s destined to become a lighter-waving classic at their future gigs and summer festivals, and how do the band follow this up? With a disco classic, that’s how.
Arrows Of Eros comes with the catchiest synth hook I’ve heard in a long time which I feared would never leave my head after I heard it. It also comes packaged with the album’s best lyrics which showcase just how good Golden Silvers are at doing the imaginatively bizarre – “Cinderella, cigarettes and scenes from the past/Were chasing them too fast for this love to ever last”. It all ends with a 2 minute build up of drums, ‘ahhs’ and ‘ooos’, pianos and synths that would seem ridiculous on any other album, which just fizzles out at the end as though it climaxed too early. It’s quite simply the best ending to a song ever and has to be heard to be believed.
Just when you think that would be a fitting end to the album, Golden Silvers decide to chuck another musical style at you with the sombre, purely piano ballad Fade To Black. It leaves you with the impression that you have just heard something special as it further showcases that the album has no two tracks that sound the same.
I couldn’t criticise this album if I tried. It’s a veritable feast of musical ideas, influences and fun and is a debut album quite unlike anything I've heard in a long time. It rivals the Mystery Jets debut album for amount of ideas you can chuck at one album, and is even a much more polished effort than that. There’s literally something for everyone on this album and that’s not a sign that the band haven’t found their voices, it’s just a sign that they are definitely not going to become another one-note indie band.