Golden Curtain are an alt-rock pop trio from Hawkes Bay New Zealand. Andrew Mckenzie (vocals, guitar), Andrew Gladstone (vocals, drums), and Brad Gamble (bass) make up the band, with their upcoming release Underwater Gospels due out on the 9th of June. For this album, the group worked with Californian poet Alex Green. Their collaboration began when Green offered his rejected prose to McKenzie as song lyrics. When the partnership took off, they decided to work with fresh lyrics and music, resulting Underwater Gospels.
The first track, Heart Attack Summer had a simple but memorable melody with McKenzie’s vocal tone coming across as spoken and laid back. Sharks and Stars didn’t really go anywhere, having the same level of sound throughout. I found that the guitar sounded quite metallic and was a little too rich in texture. I enjoyed the change in tempo, and the percussion of Amen. Also, the broken chords in the guitar complemented the vocal harmonisation. The minor feel of Hi Fi Heart was a welcome change in feel, with the small, intermittent synth notes sounding much like something from X-Files. The echo of the melody in the first verse was an interesting choice for I Changed My Mind, making the track stand out from the rest.
For me, the lyrics of So Easy were easily the stand-out from the album. This was heightened by the music which emphasised certain phrases and words using the cymbals. Etc Etc returned to a classic rock-pop sound. The next track slowed the pace down to a ballad. There were some unexpected rhythms and silences in The Captain which I really enjoyed. Submarine Shadows was the penultimate track, with a persistent beat and varied guitar part. I loved the ‘Doo-wop’ vocals at the transition of each section in The Pier. It was such a surprise to hear, but somehow worked with the music.
I think there’s some great creativity in this album. I enjoy their sound and overall style. I give it 8/10.
Pre-order the album here