Such Gold - The New Sidewalk (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Such Gold

The New Sidewalk (2014)

Razor & Tie

Ever read so much hype about a major change in direction for an upcoming record, that when it drops the shift isn't as seismic as everyone touted, so you're kinda let down? The quality of the music aside, you're there just waiting to grasp what the band and every writer's been talking about. Suffice it to say, while The New Sidewalk does shift the trajectory for Such Gold, it isn't anything monumental that'll have fans up in arms. What it does do however, is gear them down from a pacey, melodic-hardcore-punk vibe into a less brash side of things. It feels like it's a more conversational album as opposed to a fist-in-the-air record that you'd usually tag them to.

In a nutshell, it does boil down to less abrasive punk than what we're accustomed to when it comes to Such Gold. But still, as much as they lean to the poppier side of things, quick, snappy riffs still bring the aggressive nature of the band to the light. And indeed, in these familiar elements, do they bask. "Faced" and "Morrison" are some of these tracks. As Ben Kotin adds guitars to his job description this time around, another big plus is that his vocals don't miss a beat. Clean when they need to and angry (as well as slightly raspy) when he's pissed. New drummer, Matt Covey, deserves a special mention too as he brings his Shai Hulud expertise here with an A-game. His timing and frenetic percussion ramps the record up which'll once more please the die-hards of Such Gold. When both cut loose, let's just say these sections are hard-layered and jacked. Such Gold at its finest.

If you're craving more of these jagged and relentless sides to The New Sidewalk, then look no further than the rapid-fire "Food Court Blues". It nods to bands like No Trigger and After The Fall and complements the left-field jams on tap such as "I Know What I Saw". The latter dabbles in mixed tempos, focusing on slow builds, but as it shuffles into faster tones, you're reminded a bit of The Early November. With a bit more edge and spunk though. Conversely, as Such Gold "waters down" a few things here and there, you get a sense that the variance they display isn't permanent. It feels like they're still fiddling and sometimes, this creeps up with a bit of uncertainty in a few tracks. These songs don't register as much but all in all, there's a lot of memorable pulls on offer.

Such Gold won't draw as much flak as a lot of folks think they will. In fact, I think they'll win over more fans because this album feels like it's geared for a more accessible appeal as opposed to the underground vibe they gave off. Is it more mainstream? A bit. Does it feel disconnected from the old days? Not drastically. It's not as hard-hitting as their past material but still, it's worth a go.