If the last 25 to 30 years of rock music have taught us anything, it's that pastiche proliferates. Rock's past three decades have also informed us that those groups that exhibit the best taste—subjective, of course, but learned listeners generally agree on a canon of quality artists—and skillfully amalgamate their influences are usually those that create the most interesting records. Some think "originality" (in 2010 this word feels inadequate without scare quotes) is impossible; it isn't, though it is exceptionally rare, and one can safely say that Brooklyn sextet Golden Triangle aren't original. But they are damn good at amalgamating their wisely chosen influences and concocting said mixture into exciting songs—an admirable achievement at any juncture in rock history.
On their debut full-length for Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art, Double Jointer, Golden Triangle transplant the harmonic buoyancy of '60s girl groups into the fuzz-bombed-out guitar attack of the Jesus and Mary Chain, as well as C86-ish UK bands like the Shop Assistants, whose roots can be traced to Ramones' fleet, fuss-free approach. Golden Triangle exude both a charming naiveté and a studied appreciation of rock history, seemingly contrary attributes that they bundle into concise numbers that get in your face and under your skin with an insouciant immediacy. Golden Triangle can do the evergreen adrenalized rave-up, and they can also slow it down, sweeten it up, and nuzzle your inner romantic. These are well-worn tropes, but Golden Triangle imbue them with a sincere passion.
Double Jointer storms out of the gate like a champ with "Cinco de Mayo." Carly Rabalais and Vashti Windish's vocals cheekily roar semidistant and bathed in vintage garage-psych reverb, while Cameron Michel and OJ San Felipe's densely packed guitars spark and crackle above Jay High's rambunctious, speedy tubthumping. You will be hooked from the get-go, assuming you like ramshackle rushes like Pussy Galore's "Alright" and the Fall's "Pay Your Rates." By contrast, "Blood and Arrow" downshifts into an eerie, Joe Meek–ly cyclical keyboard motif; sassy, tambourine-accented beats; and fuzz-swarm guitars and bass. "Neon Noose" splits the difference between those first two songs' extremes and stands as the definitive Golden Triangle song circa now. It's a lovely piece that stimulates familiar pleasure centers.
And so it goes throughout the rest of Double Jointer's 11 tracks. Golden Triangle consistently induce thrills with hummable, no-frills noisy rock that, against odds, still has juice in it—albeit juice tasted by many mouths before.Golden Triangle: Double Jointer.