Goldrushâ€™s â€œThe Heart is the Placeâ€ begins with a slow, anthemic overture (called â€œApertureâ€) that gives way with a sudden drop to â€œThe Story of the City,â€ a smooth rock song that sounds remarkably like Snow Patrol. Or Bell X1. Not that thereâ€™s anything wrong with that. In fact, Snow Patrol rate high on my list of best indie bands ever (even if theyâ€™re not indie anymore). Theyâ€™ll definitely be part of my pix for the ongoing ballot Iâ€™ve got floating out there, to select the best 25 indie albums ever, according to the blogosphere.
Claiming Grandaddy and Super Furry Animals as influences, Goldrush describes itself as having â€œretooled the country-hippie vibe for the indie era.â€ Honestly, I hear less of that and more of Coldplay or The Stars. This is a very produced production, but, again, thereâ€™s nothing wrong with that.
The Heart is the Place is both cheerful and sweet, catchy and clear, mellow and . . . Nice. Yeah. Itâ€™s nice. The title track is the albumâ€™s real rocker, throwing in bursts of brass and an unexpected shredding guitar solo. Kinda like Calexico, but a little less raw. And â€œEvery One Of Usâ€ is a standout track that picks up the pace on this otherwise pretty pastoral project. Truly, Iâ€™m baffled by some of the press I read that say this band has given up writing anthems with sheen in favor of a more lo-fi production. I confess, I havenâ€™t heard their earlier work, but this is definitely a slick recordâ€”which works in its favor. Frankly, I donâ€™t see how the lead singerâ€˜s voice could ever be anything but gentle. Itâ€™s the rare indie male vocalist who can deliver tunes like theseâ€”Stadium-style drama without bombast.
If you like Snow Patrol, Bell X1, U2, or even Califone or Calexico, give these guys a chance.