Black Gold / Rush (Red Bull)

Black Gold

The famous energy drink dips its big toe into the music industry and offers up Black Gold’s interesting debut album.

Rush starts with a fuzz of distortion and a catchy, mournful lyric spun by vocalist Eric Ronick (Ambulance Ltd, Panic at the Disco). Like vodka and Quaaludes, they make each other stronger. Ronick’s keyboard and Luu’s percussion combine to keep the rhythm section more interesting than most full bands. The album’s melodies never rest on the rhythm’s laurels, instead floating easily between beats or soaring above them. The sweetest surprise here is the vocal harmonies the two employ—two voices that might sound unremarkable alone really pop when wrapped around each other or layered through shimmering guitars. While there are indeed great tracks on Rush (“Detroit” and “Shine” are particularly excellent), the album’s whole is greater than its parts for the sheer variety and versatility of the songs. The beats certainly foster dancing, but the melodies still allow for pensive conversation by the punchbowl or cleaning up beer cans alone in your empty house at 4 am.
Erin Lyndal Martin
File under: Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, Marching Band