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Monday, September 30, 2013

Gold, USA

Gold - No Class What So Ever. 1980 Alpha

This one came as a recommendation from our friend Tristan Stefan, and he pointed me to his Prog Not Frog post a few months back.

Gold are a southern Florida band and I found this album to be a very appealing piece of instrumental music. I love the guitar work, both in the psychedelic tone, and with his melodic style. No shredding here - this is the emotional style that Santana or even Frank Marino (think 'Poppy') can get when they focus on their instrumental side. The compositions are tight, and they pack a lot of ideas within relatively short time frames. It's sophisticated but not complicated. And while it ostensibly comes from a jazz fusion angle, I'd say it's more in the instrumental progressive rock camp. There is no doubt that this album will improve with multiple listens, as it possesses an uncommon depth. This one really came out of nowhere, and I don't think it's on the collector radar yet. I probably should shut this down and secure a copy for myself first, but I'll let you guys have at it.

Here's an excellent review I found on popsike, from a former ebay auction: "Impressive all-instrumental varied-structure fierce twin guitar-driven prog rock by Florida band with free adventurous spirit like fellow FL rockers Overseas Highway or "Life Jam" -era Terry Brooks and Strange. Four piece band with two guitars, played more in the conventional lead/ rhythm arrangement than than the dual-lead Wishbone Ash style.  Has some pretty blistering and brilliant lead work and intricate passages throughout - never a predictable moment really. Gets pretty jazzy ( in a good way) by mid side 2. A strong 70s vibe, known cult local/ regional status, small indie run, and great electric guitar prowess all make this a much-sought underground classic.  Recommended to all into the genre." Now I have to say I don't recall any Terry Brooks / Strange albums being anywhere close to this good (though I haven't heard them all). I also had never heard of Overseas Highway (same label as Gold), but they look as if they could be intriguing too.

While doing research for this title, I quickly discovered this is Gold's second album. Based on what I've read, the first isn't quite up to snuff (and has vocals). Now nothing beats actually hearing it, but time is limited, so I'll await TS' comments.

Both the Rantz and the Gold were two of my favorites from this batch of rarities. Good job Mr. Tristan Stefan!

(April 6, 2014) And thanks to TS, we did finally hear "Night Ride". It's hard to imagine it's the same band - especially the first half of the disc which is really boogie shuffle rock, and is quite hideous in fact. By Track 5, the band started to turn to more intriguing instrumental guitar fronted fusion, and foreshadows the much better No Class What So Ever album to come.

Priority: 2

1 comment:

Tristan Stefan said...

Sadly I sold my copy about a month back (for 100), and I should have waited, because the guy I sold it to I know will now resell it at double or triple the price... and I only paid about 20 dollars for it originally!