Gold’s April 5 Artoffact Records release Why Aren’t You Laughing? feels like a brisk walk through a frigid night. The sonically thick and generally urgent songs encapsulate a pinnacle of emotional experience where while riding atop either metaphorical or literal surging waves, one finds themselves all alone. The band utilize a diverse array of styles — to put it lightly — but they unify their work with what feels like a pair of eyes peering out from amidst the lonely darkness.
The feeling fits in well with what vocalist Milena Eva shares in her lyrics, in which she sings about various perspectives of being left out. Throughout the band’s newest effort, repeated motifs emerge depicting an apparently romantic relationship for which the speaker maintains at least measures of apparently both love and hate. While at times venturing into “global” concerns, Eva often returns to exploring this connection to some unseen and unheard entity whose at least potentially oppressive presence weighs the scene down like a cloud. Some of her lyrics are particularly relevant to women’s experience in an often systematically sexist society, offering somewhat of an intimate yet widely applicable portrait.
Gold’s new album’s music reflects that metaphorical cloud of resigned confrontation of despondency too. The band continuously return to a rocking, intense melodic core, offering song structures that can be tightly wound and complex to the point of including textures reminiscent of bands like Russian Circles at their most rattling or even some atmospheric black metal. At times, they get that intense.
Gold’s particular mixture on their newest effort wraps around the listener like a warm coat, inviting them in for more and proving exciting at the same time. While the listener may be able to pick out familiar elements from the work, the overall creation keeps you guessing as it proceeds, with each piece woven carefully into the next for an effective emotional accounting of and prognosis for a given life situation — and the band leave their work seemingly open-ended enough for the listener to fill in some blanks however they feel fit.
The album fulfills emotional needs and wants, offering a place to come in for understanding. Why Aren’t You Laughing? can provide an experience of sitting atop some mountain overlooking your town — and your life — without even having to leave your home or wherever you’re listening to the music. Quite simply, the record quickly proves an enthralling experience. There’s something unique and unforgettable about Eva softly crooning: “There is no way out of here. There is no way out.”
Listen below via Bandcamp