The Gold Needles – Through a Window (Album Review)

The Gold Needles – Through a Window (Album Review)

The best description that may be woven about the English band The Gold Needles is its fusion of late ’60s Psychedelic Folk Rock, ’70s New Wave/Power Pop, ’90s Shoegaze, and the sensibilities of the current Indie scene—a perfect recipe for great music.

Formed in 2015, in Hull, England, The Gold Needles are Simon Dowson (vocals/guitar), Dave Burbage (lead guitar), Mark English (keyboards/percussion), Carl Slaughter (bass/harmony vocals), and Justin Davidson (drums). In 2018, they released Pearls­ – a collection of most of their recorded materials since their formation. This is why the forthcoming full-length, titled Through a Window, is technically their first proper album.

Scheduled for release on Friday, June 21st, via JEM Records, Through a Window opens with the rather nostalgic and sinister, Shoegaze fuzz and subtle synth of “Do You Want What I Need?,” which will immediately transport the listener to an old, familiar place—an era when The Church was just beginning (“Too Fast for You”). Following next is the jangly and catchy “Sunset Girl,” lodging the sound of the band right there in the center of his auditory sense. Still in the same mood, “I’m Gonna Try” interestingly comes across as a mix of The Zombies (“I Can’t Make Up My Mind”), Primal Scream (“Gentle Tuesday”), and The Grapes of Wrath (“Good to See You”).

The Gold Needles then turn the light dim and the rhythm slow as they launch into the haunting ballad “Upon Our Skin.” Brightness then shines again with the cowbell sheen and Britpop jangle of “Here She Goes Again,” which will fit well on a playlist that includes “There She Goes” by The La’s and “Here I Stand” by The Milltown Brothers. Another rockin’ moment ensues with the distortion-glazed Power Pop of “Winning a Losing Game,” only to ooze again with the saccharine melodies of “This Autumn Road.”

One of the standout tracks of Through a Window, “Girl You Will Be Mine” is something special because of its ear-catching horn interlude, whereas the following “The Shoemaker of Leatherwear Square” will definitely be another instant hit; its well-woven ’60s Psychedelic–inspired guitar orchestration may be described as an eclectic mélange of The Byrds (“The Bells of Rhymney”), Bram Tchaikovsky (“Girl of My Dreams”), and The Records (“Starry Eyes”).

Finally, the English quintet with old souls then close their window with the sweet, soulful sway of the chiming Pop of “Goodnight, Mr. Tom”—an upbeat and happy way to end the lovely evening spin—which will leave the listener craving for another round of The Gold Needles’ pearls of songs.

Groups like The Gold Needles is the reason one should not allow oneself to get stuck only in the music of the past. After all, if the goal is to enjoy nostalgia and currency at the same time, Through a Window is able to serve both these. That is why Cryptic Rock gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase Through a Window:

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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

  • David Valerio
    Posted at 02:52h, 18 June Reply

    I really respectfully acknowledge Alfie as a well respected,Part of the music industry,writing community.
    As well as being a good father,while working full-time as a Health care worker.He deserves all the accolades he gets.👏

  • aLfie vera mella
    Posted at 00:48h, 19 June Reply

    Thank you very much for the inspiring and humbling compliments.

    You just made me more passionate with the things that I love engaging in.

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