This Golden Daze review was written by Gemma Parkes, a Gigsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.
With a history of ground-breaking stunt performances, as well as designing his own brand of boot for rollerblading outlet Xsjado, Ben Schwab was set for rollerblading stardom. However, with little money to be made in the pro-skating industry Ben turned to his other passion in life – music.
Ben, alongside Jacob Loeb, form LA based songwriting duo, Golden Daze. Inspired by 60s melodic rock and it’s contemporaries, Gaz McCombs and Brian Jonestown Massacre, Golden Daze have created a body of work that channels notions of psychedelia, surf rock and indie pop.
Album opener, ‘Ghost’ begins with a hypnotic pendulum of sound, with simple yet sombre guitar chords strumming back and forth. A soft drum beat and delicate whispery vocal eventually bursts into a vivid, kaleidoscopic chorus – a true, trippy triumph reminiscent of Tame Impala’s ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’.
‘Never Comin’ Back’ is 2.10 minutes of excellently ethereal indie pop. Packed with intricate summery melodies which move into a catchy chorus with the lyrics, “Yeah good times are coming, yeah I can feel it, yeah I’m never never never never never coming back”. The song has all the connotations of that youthful desire to break away from home and for independence. It’s fun, feel good and nothing short of a summer anthem for 2016.
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Golden Daze kick-off ‘Foreigner’ with elongated croons of “aaah” which provides a very contagious hook in the song. With clattering snares and sliding and intertwining riffs, this modern day ‘Kumbaya’ hippy sing-along will take you right back to Woodstock ’69 – a real festival moment.
‘Attic’, is an emotive and melancholic interlude with chimes of synth pop layered over moody minor picked chords. Sandwiched between two punchier tracks, this pleasant but pointless track feels like needless filler that quickly confuses the general mood of album.
On the very first strum of the watery rhythm guitar, Golden Daze debut single, ‘Salt’ instantly floods listeners with waves of euphoria. Followed by a spine-tingling riff that will send serotonin levels racing, this track is dreamy psychedelic pop at its finest. ‘Salt’ also draws influences from surf rock which makes for another perfect summer tune that will wash your cares away.
Although Ben’s vocals occasionally get lost in the echoey vibrations of the instruments, that doesn’t take much away from what is otherwise an enjoyable debut album. Golden Daze have created an eclectic mix of an album which uses the right measures of old-skool psychedelia, modern indie and Beach Boys-esque surf rock.
Golden Daze self titled album is out on 19th February 2016 via Autumn Tone Records.