Gold – No Image


Rotterdam quintet Gold’s pounding yet warmly-produced, Post-heavy bent is faithful to that freedom of expression and unconstrained creativity so expected from Dutch artists. Milena Eva’s androgynous tones assist the Indie feel driving sophomore album, No Image (Ván / Profound Lore): opener ‘Servant’ having a laid-back, Pop vibe coursing through the cocooning weight of the instrumentation. The psychedelic bleeps, whistles and squalling lead spiralling through the ensuing ‘Old Habits’, meanwhile, coupled with the determinedly-intoned yet almost angelic vocal, nearly disguise a fuzzing brute of staccato rhythm.

Extreme Metalheads could find the album falling between two stools: a harsh Rock sound, tempered by the voice and attitude of their guilty ‘chillout’ secrets. Those who stick with this will, however, find unexpected thrills in each track which have you hooked before you realise. There’s no shortage of atmosphere here: shimmering pedal effects complement Eva’s moving delivery in ‘The Controller’, and preface a Blondie-style Punk explosion; whilst the early synth and sample work of ‘D.I.R.’ is the prologue to a thudding New Wave structure. It’s here where the production really emphasises the power and weight underpinning Eva’s soft lilt, reminiscent of a happy Brian Molko.

Bitterness and despair travel freely within these walls despite both emotions being delivered in an energetic and, in the case of ‘The Waves’, febrile manner, with lead and backing vocals seeming to sound simultaneously pained and carefree. The heavy, Joy Division-infused shoegaze of ‘Shapeless’ is driven by a seedy, sexy rhythm section, while the early swerve and bludgeon of ‘Tar And Feather’ threatens a Black / Grind influence, before delicacy briefly tempers an anger conducted by Igor Wouters’ phenomenal stickwork. Only the nevertheless brooding and occasionally sensual closers ‘Don’t’ and ‘Taste Me’ mar things somewhat, having a Saint Etienne-like lethargic drift which allows the interest to wander.

It takes no little courage and confidence to put together such opposing shades of light and dark, and to do so with such youthful vitality is joyfully uplifting. No Image is a “something different” that unifies many styles and, in doing so, proves capable of engaging devotees from across the heavy spectrum.