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SVART Records

As al­bums go these days, this epony­mous re­lease from The Golden Grass is pretty short at only five tracks, but boy, does it leave a great im­pres­sion. Formed early last year, the band hails from Brook­lyn, and term them­selves a power trio. That’s a fair enough de­scrip­tion, but they’re im­mensely melodic, too – they must be do­ing some­thing right, as they even had a record­ing con­tract in their pocket be­fore their first gig! There’s some­thing very nos­tal­gic about this al­bum, a sort of 70s vibe that’s a bit like early Mick Abrahams and Blod­wyn Pig. It’s all up- tempo, the mu­sic is full of hooks, tough and riffy ( par­tic­u­larly One More Time), but the feel­good fac­tor is ex­cep­tion­ally high through­out. Michael Rafalowich is the gui­tarist, and he shares lead vo­cal du­ties with drum­mer Adam Kriney, while Joseph No­val is the bass player. Al­though the in­di­vid­ual tracks are a de­cent length, sadly, it’s all over far too quickly. You’ll have to hit the re­peat but­ton to get more, but you’ll most cer­tainly want to. plus plenty of acous­tic mas­tery and some jazz, too. The ar­range­ments are ex­tra­or­di­nary in places, and it’s a con­stant game of guess- the- song, as very few of the in­tros give you a clue. A Taste Of Honey is beau­ti­fully ex­e­cuted; Sealed With A Kiss is clas­sic Marvin; and the self- penned Sum­mer Gui­tar is a good com­bi­na­tion of Strat and Gypsy jazz acous­tic. In fact, Hank tells us that the al­bum was orig­i­nally go­ing to be ti­tled Sum­mer Gui­tar, but let’s face it, there’s noth­ing wrong with ‘ Hank’! There’s noth­ing wrong with this al­bum, ei­ther – it has great tunes, great ar­range­ments and bril­liant play­ing, and fin­ishes nicely with a riffy and force­ful in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Water­loo Sun­set. Pick this up and add some sun­shine to your life.

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