...you and everything...


Independet release, 2006


REVIEW BY: Melanie Love


I can be kind of compulsive when it comes to my music. My album towers are freakishly neat, organized by artist and then release date of album and then soundtracks...not so weird until, of course, you start to compare that to the rest of my life, which tends to lean more towards cyclone-ravaged instead.

And when it comes to buying music, for some reason I’m big on research, delaying purchases until I can hit up Wikipedia and sample tracks on iTunes. But somehow, Atlanta, Georgia bluesy jam-rockers Golden managed to draw me in at first listen, enough to request a copy of this album, their debut, before even pausing to check out their MySpace.

…you, and everything…starts out on a strong note with “Come Over,” which makes the band’s description of their sound as ‘warm apple pie’ and ‘Christmas joy’ move from strangely specific to spot-on instead. It’s instantly obvious as single material, at first because of how easily listenable vocalist Joshua Golden is: like Adam Levine without being so grating, or an updated incarnation of David Gray. But behind the vocals is some fantastic instrumentation, like the hints of calypso that slip in during the bridge or the sophisticated guitar throughout, leading up to a strong solo break courtesy of electric guitarist Paul Marnell (not to forget the rest of the band: Bob Stepnicka on drums, bassist Schuyler Clark and pianist/organist Jerry Loch, and aforementioned vocalist Golden also handling acoustic guitar and alto sax). my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The next few tracks continue along in the same vein, drawing you in with higher-energy material like “Mine,” featuring Golden on sax; “Drive,” the harmonized choruses of which showcasing the band’s melding voices; and the warm blues of “Lies,” with its slowly unfurling guitar solo and engaging lyrics. Everyone I play the album for declares that last track as their favorite, too.

The only song I find myself going past is “Loving Star,” mostly because of its twangy country beat; I think it’s something that would translate onstage, but here it just distracts from the flow of the first half of the album and then ends up overshadowed right after by the dynamic build-up of “Worse For Wear.” But the next time they switch it up, on the subdued, piano-based “Here,” the introspective lyrics and subtle drums work to create the highlight of the second side.

I know the tendency with most of us here on the Vault is to want to be more generous with up and coming acts, a part of us wanting to curb our criticism even if what we’re listening to can sometimes be the equivalent of Paris Hilton’s latest schlock (so much for hoping she’d never be mentioned on here…).  Luckily, …you, and everything makes my job easier because it’s deserving of actual, not just polite, praise, with its highs far outweighing any lows. And unlike Hilton, Golden absolutely deserve a record deal, though as of now they’re unsigned. But take my word; I’m sure one day these guys are going to get their deserved place right alongside counterparts Dave Mathews Band and Maroon 5.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2006 Melanie Love and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independet release, and is used for informational purposes only.