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Monday, November 28, 2011

Goldilocks, Apartment King

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Goldilocks’ second offering is a five-song EP, titled Apartment King, which materialized on the group's Bandcamp page back in late October. Months have passed since they've played a show, and returning to the stage hasn't seemed likely. But don’t count them out just yet, Apartment King bears the earmark of a band that’s made good use of its downtime.

This batch of songs finds Goldilocks moving further into the realms of clean, distortion-free guitar pop songwriting that draws strength from lilting male emotional states. The songs are still rough around the edges, which is more of an aesthetic choice, and it’s these primitive aural qualities that create soft-focus tension here as the music has become a bit more elegant (rather than precious) while drawing upon overwhelming feelings of insecurity. Everything from the Smiths to Olivia Newton-John circa ’81 are obvious and guiltless influences here. The group adapts the timeless parts of the formulas that have been laid out by said influences, and they add them to their own embryonic state of being. All of this comes to a peak with the EP’s second number, “Military Man.” The song is catchy, driven by wanton melancholy, and filled with sweeping melodic changes. It is, without a doubt Goldilocks' brightest moment thus far, and with just a little bit of time in the right producer’s hands this could easily become something of a minor hit, audible crust and all.

“Military Man” sits between opening number, "Do U Wanna?," a bed-wetter take on low-fi glam pop, and “Sinister Pussylip,” followed by “Donkey Bong.” These latter two numbers show off a noisier sides of the group, particularly “Sinister Pussylip,” which builds on a rumbling hiss that eventually gives way to monstrous, Van Halen-style guitar solos. They might seem out of place on paper, but they perfectly underscore the frazzled energy that gives these songs their most compelling qualities. If these soaring riffs are meant to be ironic, it’s lost in a happy balance that drives the music to higher highs and lower lows.

“Imaginary Gurlfriend” sums up these feelings of ecstatic mellow drama with a musical and lyrical fingerprint that doesn’t expand upon theGoldilocks' masterplan as much as it corals hooks, melodies and noisy riffs to bring this emotional roller coaster to a close on a jagged point.

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