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Golden Section - Attack Decay Sustain Release

  by Paul Raven

published: 8 / 11 / 2007

Golden Section - Attack Decay Sustain Release
Label: Golden Section
Format: CD


Promising debut album from original-sounding electro-guitar outfit Golden Section who with a little more finesse and polish look set to be a force to be reckoned with

'Attack Decay Sustain Release' opens up with a deep digital bassline and programmed percussion ... but just when you think you've stumbled across an album by a bedroom rave producer from 1991, in come the guitars and live drums, the electronics take a step back, and the vocals start telling stories. Electro indie pop is go! OK, so cards on the table – Golden Section are based comparatively locally to me, and I've seen them play live a couple of times. Hence I was more than curious to see how they work out on record, because they're an impressive proposition on stage. This self-released album showcases their unique style and strong songwriting very effectively, but doesn't quite transmit the infectious energy of their live shows. Which is contrary to conventional wisdom, now I come to think about it – bands that rely on a mixture of electronics and 'regular' instruments usually come across at their best in the studio. And that's not to say that this isn't a pretty decent release, either – the production is neat, well-balanced and allows the songs to take centre stage. The music is a curious juxtaposition of sounds. The electronic parts - with their plinking and bleeping synth arpeggios, 909 drum loops and squelchy bass - remind me a great deal of Erasure minus the camp theatrics – and the strong harmonised vocals emphasise this pop heritage, taking all the decent bits of 80's synth-pop and leaving the cruft behind. Add to this the tight live drumming and some passages of high-energy rock-out guitar, and you've got a blend of sounds I can't recall having heard anywhere else – but whose time is surely now, if ever. The lyrics are more than passable, too, if a little prone to cliché – but that may well be a deliberate ploy to play off against the synthetic sounds, an attempt to acknowledge the impossibility of complete sincerity in a postmodern age. It's similar to the urban realism of Hard-Fi, but approached from the other side of the class divide. Here we have stories about Saturday night domestic abuse, people living beyond their means and years, lost loves and unforgotten friends – again, not the most original subject matter, but approached with an eye for detail that should improve with age and experience. And that's the really important factor here. I try not to apply caveats to album reviews, but sometimes it's unfair not to; so let it be said that Golden Section's limitations all appear to be functions of their youth. There's no lack of talent here, that's for certain, and once the passage of time has sanded off a little of their naivete, this band will be a force to be reckoned with. Let's just hope no one pips them to the post with a similar style before they get the chance to take public possession of it.

Track Listing:-
1 1.61803399
2 Be A Daemon
3 Pack up (move away)
4 Only At Weekends
5 Interchange
6 Peppermint
7 Narcotics Dustbin
8 Lakes & Fells
9 Proximity Mines
10 With Violence
11 Spent
12 Win or Lose or Cheat

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