Not a lot of bands can pull off Gothic Pop. For Dutch avant-garde ensemble GOLD, it comes easy. They channel the darkest strains of Pop and straight out Rock to create their own version of industrial Goth Rock. They represent a dark, nihilistic world that runs smoothly. GOLD have put their blood, sweat and dramatic tears in Why Aren’t You Laughing? (Artoffact Records)
A follow up to their breakthrough The Optimist, the lyrics are as heavy as any trauma, music is as dark as night.
And that darkness is where vocalist, Milena Eva’s lyricism thrives at its best. First track, ‘He Is Not’ is about losing someone and dealing with that void. This track thrives on melancholic and it is done beautifully here. ‘Things I Wish I Never Knew’ starts off with thunderous drumming and a twirling guitar. The track is furious without being uncontrolled especially with the harmonies in the bridge.
The title track, which was released on International Women’s Day, serves as a women empowerment anthem as well as a protest against the decline of civilization. The song is brilliantly dramatic.
Their sound marries hypnotic gothic vibes with layers of dark guitars overlaid with atmospheric with dream-like vocals. The album is complex like ‘Please Tell Me You’re Not The Future’ and ‘Taken By Storm’ which is driven by the rhythm of Noise Rock and Black Metal. ‘Wide-Eyed’ is a haunting song— ambivalent and possessive in every angle. The chorus is a great sing-along. Milena Eva’s voice continues to be hopeless—adding to the brooding lines in ‘Lack Of Skill’ and the hypnotic ‘Truly, Truly Disappointed.’
‘Killing At Least 13’ keeps everything entwine dramatically with its slow tempo and eerie guitar. This track is peaceful as the night with shuddering tremors. ‘Mounting Bitterness’ structure makes a heavy impact with its style reminiscent of Gothic British origins. The melody serves as it were sunshine peeking through grey clouds. The eccentricity ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ features Milena Eva’s most gentle tone and the guitars are subtle enough that is fitting.
GOLD make a powerful statement with this fourth release – post-Metal and post-Punk elements thrive alongside something Doom, Goth and sensitive. Drama is a big influence and can be draining at times but in this compilation of baroque songs, Why Aren’t You Laughing? is no laughing matter.
8 / 10