Monday, 30 March 2009

My Gold Mask

So I'm cooking dinner last evening, applying my patented "if it sounds good over sizzling & chopping, it must be something special" test, when despite the lowish volume (unusual, for me), something special did get my attention, in a big way - first, some sublime, slightly jazzy, revrb'y guitar, that Tarantino should consider making another movie for; then, the most striking female voice, soulful, but with a keen edge; and finally, a thumping great bass drum crescendo. Even over the culinary racket, this was clearly awesome, and a hasty check (who's this? - they're amazing) revealed that the band was My Gold Mask. Well, that rang a bell, and what remains of my mind led to a tart's gig review at Love Shack, Baby a couple of weeks ago, which had made them seem very interesting indeed (tart knows her stuff).

A bit sheepishly, the recollection of my being more concerned with making wise about one of My Gold Mask's song titles, than paying close attention to the name of the band, dawned on me; but it seems I musta gone a searching & listening after all, since there was this minimalist, a bit White Stripes'y, gem - 'O My Soul' winking back from the screen, and clearly it didn't download itself.

Enough with the preamble - My Gold Mask are a duo from Chicago (Gretta Rochelle & Jack Armondo), they've got a self-titled album out now, and what a ride it is - feeling almost sparse electro-gypsy at times, pared down Siouxsie at others, occasional hints of a sorta distorted German cabaret, the odd reminiscence of the raw energy of PJ Harvey's four-track demos, a dark, bluesy thing in places too, had me thinking of Francis, not that they sound similar... Ha!, impossible to pin down, I like that soo much. They get quite new wavely mediaeval on 'Like Eli', definitely dancey on 'Bitches', thumpingly raw & intense on 'O My Soul' & 'Your Coo Ka Choo', quiet(ish) & tender on 'A River'; and you needn't think it's a disjointed effort, cuz it ain't.  Jack's guitar feels wonderfully portentous throughout; and Gretta's voice? - I'm lost for words really, try 'captivating' for starters.

Fortunately then, here are three tracks from the album, you can stream all the others below, including O My Soul, the one that sucked me in. Buy the whole album in high quality from My Gold Mask on a 'name your price' basis. Listen first, then pay what you like - sounds more than fair to me.

I dearly wish I could make their next gig on 3rd April - My Gold Mask are playing with Wavves and Vampire Hands at The Empty Bottle in Chicago; it should be one great evening.

You could dance your socks off once Bitches gets moving.

Your Koo Ca Choo


as I said, hear every track before you buy.

If you've read this far, it's possible you're wondering (as I did) where My Gold Mask have been hiding until now... and the answer is, they are 2/3 of Bang! Bang!, also very impressive - more from them another day.

Finally,,,, here's a taste of My Gold Mask, playing live...
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