Golden City - Cavalry + Brighten [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Golden City

Cavalry + Brighten [7 inch] (2009)

Sound Fiction

Golden City is the latest brainchild of Eric Richter of Christie Front Drive and Antarctica fame. I'm only familiar with his previous work in CFD; they were a pretty good band, though -- think a simultaneously more hardcore and relaxed version of Sunny Day Real Estate's first record. Someone once described their music as something hardcore couples would have sex to or some such. Personally, I'd prefer a band like Grimple for a roll in the hay, but whatever blows your hair back, you know what I mean? Anywho, Golden City takes something from that previous tradition but injects it with pop songwriting you wouldn't necessarily find on a hardcore record of any kind with their debut 7".

The A-side of this record, "Cavalry" starts off with a guitar pop sound reminiscent of British bands like Talulah Gosh and Sarah Records bands, full of melodic guitar leads and hooks. The bridge not only performs its musical function but also ideologically bridges the gap between that power-pop sound and the tension-building mode of Mr. Richter's previous work quite ingeniously. It is almost like something Jimmy Eat World might do if they were still writing good records.

The flipside of the record, "Brighten" is a moodier number with guitar work that is closer to structured post-rock and will seem like a more logical progression to anyone who is familiar with Christie Front Drive's output. As the title would suggest, the guitar tone of the song is bright and relaxing and when the band seemingly becomes unhinged for the final half-minute climax of the song, it is difficult not to get swept up into the positive atmosphere exuded. Guess that's where the lovemaking came into the discussion before, what with climaxes and such. The song ends on a dime, though, leaving the listener wanting more, which is good. The analogy doesn't work as well in real life if your lover just rolls over and sucks her or his thumb after getting off; leaving you wanting more it isn't a positive. Luckily, in music wanting more is a good thing, and with Golden City it'll be hard to resist the urge to flip the record over for another go of it.

What you get here is a perfect single -- it acts a fast and sweet morsel you can quickly digest while still being able to expose you to the potential of a band. Golden City certainly wets the pallet for their forthcoming 10"/CD on Magic Bullet later on this year.