Goldrush

The Heart Is the Place (Better Looking)

Keyboards blur and bubble, guitars loop like a Möbius strip, chorale arrangements and found sounds (muted trumpet, birdsong and static) stack and stack, a bereft acoustic guitar or piano anchors the melodies, and Robin Bennett sings with a quizzical, not-quite-falsetto voice. The critical gossip? The Oxfordshire, England, quartet is crushed out on the Flaming Lips and Wilco. From a distance, perhaps — but close-up Goldrush plays Cupid with power pop and psychedelia, without being mortally wounded by the excesses of either. Its first single, "Every One of Us," has the density of Big Star's "Kizza Me" but the liberated, ever-forward rush of the Byrds' "Eight Miles High." Bennett's songs aim for the essential urgency of rock & roll, as summed up in the title track ("Our lives are too short, so what are we waiting for?") or in the soul-struck proclamation "We Will Not Be Machines" — which is sung like Bennett wants to convince himself as much as you. (Or maybe it's just an answer to Pink Floyd's alienated welcome or Jeff Tweedy's permanent emotional surrender.) Goldrush can't imagine such a retreat. In its collective imagination, rock & roll, like the heart, is still a wide-open space.

 
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