Such Gold are at a crossroads. It’s 2012 and this new wave of pop-punk has been going strong for a little over two years, or whenever people started listening to The Upsides. It’s around this time in every trend where bands will either transcend fads or fade into musical obscurity. Despite not yet having the success of some of their pop-punk peers, Such Gold have released two fairly solid EPs in 2009’s Stand Tall and the following year’s Pedestals. Not to mention their split EPs with Into It. Over It. and A Loss For Words which contained their share of solid jams. Now on Razor & Tie Records, Such Gold hit the studio with producer Steve Evetts who has one of the best track records in the game, producing some of the genre’s masterpieces including Jersey’s Best Dancers (which is in this writer’s humble opinion the blueprint on how to write a pop-punk/hardcore crossover record), Through Being Cool and Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems. Not to mention newer jams like The Wonder Years‘ Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing and, weirdly enough, Suicide Silence‘s new album. I know, right?
Clocking in at just over 28 minutes, Such Gold got in, did what they had to, and got the hell out. Of the 11 tracks, the band couldn’t have chosen a better song than “Two Year Plan” to kick off Misadventures. In more ways than one, it sets the forthcoming mood. It’s jumpy, it’s fast, and vocalist Ben Kotin’s lines fall somewhere between a hardcore yell and the melodic styling of his punk rock peers. He yells “When did we stay/I always thought we would escape” like a battle call over the song’s outro riff, a tasty lick full of slides which almost feels like a Midwestern emo riff avec distortion.
The next few tracks skip between jumpy pop-punk numbers like “Committee Circus,” pseudo-hardcore jams like “Keyhole M.O.” and “Locked Out of the Magic Theater” which are more Comeback Kid than New Found Glory, and punk songs like “Tell Yourself” and “Understand and Forget” which wouldn’t sound out of place next to any Fat Wreck band from the early ’00s. Despite the songs being kind of scattered across the board, there is a high level of coherence. Nearly every track has interesting and unique licks, memorable drum riffs (the intro beat to “Two Year Plan” got me air drumming after the first listen!), Kotin’s ultra-personal lyrics delivered with the utmost emotion (the dude was stabbed last year, I only assume it was a tough year for him!) and pile-on inducing gang chants.
When I was a kid, my mom used to tell me that being last on every class list (pains of being a “Young”) meant that you were the last name to be called, so everyone was going to remember you. Now whether this is true or not, I feel like it applies to music. The last track “You Are Your Greatest Threat (The Doctor Will Serve You Now)” captures the vibe of the album. It’s melodic, it’s pissed, and it closes the album off with a bang. Plus, the music video is kinda neat, if you’re into that stuff. If there’s one track off the album worth remembering over the others, it’s this one.
Misadventures isn’t going to be the record at the top of everyone’s list at the end of the year. It isn’t a groundbreaking record, and it’s not going to take the scene by storm. Nevertheless, Such Gold managed to separate themselves from the pop-punk pack. They have their own sound going on, and it’s a sound that quite a few fans will dig. It’s a fun record that fans of pop-punk, hardcore and early ’00s punk will be able to come together and enjoy.