Welcome back to Spotlight – a feature where we take an artist, old or new but often overlooked, and place them on a metaphorical pedestal. This week we’re featuring an exciting 5-piece punk band from Detroit, MI.
Gold Route traces its roots back to 2013. Vocalist Sean Hazen recalls, “we started as a band called ‘Sidelined’ in spring of 2013, that lasted for about two years or so. Near the end, I had been living in Kalamazoo and going to Western Michigan University. We had some member changes and I’d been writing new music, so we decided to change the name. The Gold Route was the name of one of the bus routes I rode on campus while at WMU.”
The quintet broke onto the scene with their first release under the new moniker, a five-song EP titled “I’m Just Killing Time” recorded at Undead Studios in Trenton, MI. After touring for over a year, Gold Route began writing for their debut full-length effort in summer of 2016. Going back to Undead Studios to work with Michael Martenson and Brittain Clay, the band recorded and independently released their debut LP, “Prosper”, in May of 2017.
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The Story So Far
“It’d be easy just to say we are a pop-punk band,” admits Hazen, “but I like to think we are a punk band playing in the key of optimism and self-improvement, which is kind of a paradox to ‘punk’ itself.”
He’s right, it would be easy to label Gold Route as a pop-punk band, but it wouldn’t be fair. There are pop influences in the songwriting and melodies, but sonically this band is punk through and through. They create a unique sound, penning songs about progression over the intensity of hardcore-influenced riffs and drum patterns. It serves as an appealing juxtaposition; aggressive tonal structure laced with vocal reaffirmations of acceptance and growth.
Prosper was a phenomenal debut focusing on moving forward, leaving behind what brings discomfort. The LP is more than a collection of well put-together songs, it’s an emphatic declaration of development and lessons learnt. The title track is about coming to grips with shortcomings and trying to exude positivity, boasting an impactful hook destined to repeat in your head long after the first listen; while “Living Now” is a fiercely intense offering that bursts into a splendid chorus focusing on actively participating in the present.
“Happier” is a very personal, mid-tempo song that deals with the coping process of losing someone you love. It encaptures the overall essence of the band, showing that whether at a frenetic or steady pace, Gold Route sound natural. This is a band for scene enthusiasts and punk purists alike, for those who want a shot of encouragement with their punk rock.
The artistry and effort put into their work have these Detriot rockers destined for headliner status and you surely don’t want to miss the ascent.