Goldrush The Heart Is the Place

[Better Looking; 2007]

Styles: exuberant and spacey indie rock
Others: The Flaming Lips, Granddaddy, Mercury Rev

For an album conceived and created in a cowshed in the Oxfordshire countryside, Robin Bennett, vocalist and guitarist of Goldrush, has built it up as something of a behemoth. I’m basing this on a quote; allow me to edit it down to its essential references and nouns for you:

“I noticed things […] worlds past, future, and supernatural, magic realism […] the relation of love to mental collapse […] material constraints and shallow emotions […] D.H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, Jack Kerouac […] strange charity shop […] Raymond A. Moody MD […] near-death experiences and detailing regular themes […] a presence of love.”

Sounds lofty, doesn’t it? It’s enough to make a critic’s brain blow. But my brain needs blows — to keep it cool. I feel cluttered after reading this quote. Thankfully, The Heart Is the Place doesn’t meet such overweening expectations. Mush artist Pedro produced it, but it sounds like David Fridmann (whom the band has actually worked with in the past) did the job. There are parts on here that sound eerily similar to The Soft Bulletin or Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Eerily, I say — like ghouls, derivations, hovering white sheets, and creaking doors.

I hear a variety of familiar bands in Goldrush’s riffs, handclaps, rhythms, horns, patterns, and nuances. It’s unsettling. It’s like Goldrush have injected their work with the blood and sweat, the cum and spit of every current and prominent indie band, and worst yet, until the flimsy syringe has dripped dry. Still, I hesitate to label them thieves. These Brits appear to believe in what they’re doing -- tip-of-the-hat to that. But such a gesture isn’t as weighty when your head is without a hat. And mine is. I need my brain to breathe.

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