Placeholder / Such Gold - Wax Packs #8 [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Placeholder / Such Gold

Wax Packs #8 [7-inch] (2014)

Secret Audio Club

In just three songs, Placeholder and Such Gold really offer up the best summation of what they're capable of. When bands leave you with glimpses of what they can do, and leave you wanting more, you know you've gotten a great deal out of it. It's a robust split full of bravado from a couple of bands that need to be on your radar. Their musical output is vibrant, loud and definitely takes the punk/post-punk genres for a nice spin.

Placeholder have always been able to shine under the banner of their emo-punk, cathartic sound and Brandon Gepfer's team takes a heavier stance in their two tracks when compared to their older records such as Thought I Would Have Been Somebody By Now and last year's I Don't Need Forgiveness. "I Feel" is the emblem of the typical Placeholder sound but it seems they wanted more '90s heaviness and more emo embedded. As underground as they still may be, they hone this noisy post-punk sound so well with a refined sound structure on top of balanced melodies. It's catchy in its own gloomy atmosphere as Gepfer takes a play on his throaty, gruff and slightly shrill delivery to back the emotion and passion in his resonance. Their audible signature's also recognizably different with the pacier "Married, Buried" as they douse more of the Balance and Composure-esque feel with a more punked-out atmosphere. This plays off as stiffer melodic-punk with driving drum beats and thick, crunchy bass-tones as they splice in a grunge-laced set to their foundation.

Switching gears to Such Gold, who really fucking blew me away with Misadventures in 2012. They continue to elevate their game and the step up here is phenomenal. They add an unprecedented energy with "Choosing Cages." It's fierce skate punk yet steeped in an unpredictable-but-accessible punk vibe. The commanding drums, improvising on the guitars to dance between melodic and hardcore punk all flavor the track with grit, impulsiveness and an anger that reminds me of Near Miss. The shredding guitars and vocals from Ben Kotin really diverge perfectly to this flat-out, kick-ass punk sound. It's misfit punk and fist-in-the-air, no doubt.

Add these three up and waste away ten minutes soaking in just how many fucking awesome bands still fly under the radar. Let's hope that soon bands like these get the chance to blow up bigger because the volumes and chapters they're all putting out musically deserve so much more acknowledgment.