The Minneapolis trio Solid Gold has undergone quite a busy past two years, predominately on unrelated projects. Zach Coulter, Adam Hurlburt and Matthew Loher released Bodies of Water and 2010’s Synchronize EP before falling pretty silent for good reason; Zach and Adam joining Gayngs. The Midwest supergroup that may or may not be a memory from here on out stunned with its R&B vibes laced over a steady 69 BPM to create one of the easiest, sexiest albums from start to finish. Well, the streamers and balloons from the last prom have been swept up, spiked punch bowls washed and placed back in storage, and people still whispering what would have been had Prince performed that fateful night at First Ave. What’s next? Zach and Adam joined back up with Matthew to give us Eat Your Young; Solid Gold’s best yet.
We may be approaching those times when listening from an album end-to-end will feel as foreign as picking up a paperback, but Eat Your Young is one of those break walls that calm down the anxiety-riddled urge to hit “Next” or “Repeat” shuffle and digital music has hit us with. The 39 minutes of electro rock go down so smoothly, it makes the listener order another round of the faintly disco feel of “Nice Flight” and the subversive pop essence behind “Laugh It Up”.
Bodies of Water had one main failing that Eat Your Young makes up for, notably the way this type of music feels as if it should hypnotize the listener into a synth’d up post-Thanksgiving auditory coma of content. This time around, they achieve it potentially thanks to the Gayngs experience. “All The Way Until It Stops” and the bated breath beat of “Elephants” are mere rumble strips in comparison to “Neon Rose” and “Those Who Go.”
“Shock Notice” is a gorgeous opener, meriting that aforementioned repeat (but don’t…you should hear the rest first). The acoustic guitar and Coulter’s voice lull you into a cloudy, dreamlike state, periodically punctuated by an echoing, heavy piano before the rapturous rock element takes hold halfway in as Coutler’s voice drifts. It bleeds into the next song, “Six Days,” which channels the catchiest harmonies from “The Gaudy Side of Town” to the skip of fuzzed up guitars tearing through ripped speakers.
So what sets Solid Gold apart from like-minded groups, mostly Miike Snow? They’re subtly smoother, the kind that prefers the natural course of things to drive the night as opposed to hooks and production. The subtleness you get from watching Footloose or Purple Rain, finding yourself engrossed and dancing along to the protagonists (“The Pendulum” carries that 80s vibe). The highlight of the album being “Laugh It Up,” a floor thumper from six stories below that engages and unveils slowly, akin to stumbling upon a secret party worthy of the golden “You Are Invited” ticket.
If you’re expecting Passion Pit groundbreaking electrorock, you may be disappointed. If you’re wanting the ideal album to get you through these upcoming winter months, the kind you could throw on and trigger that subconscious synth-led dance party, Eat Your Young is the ideal fix to start the evening or lounge the night away.