June 17, 2019 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.