When Mark Eitzel re-formed American Music Club a few years ago, it sounded pretty much like the same San Francisco group that pioneered sadcore back in the early '90s. Since then, Eitzel restructured the band, moved to LA and mixed up the music a bit. But The Golden Age still sounds awfully familiar. Eitzel's wispy delivery remains an instant buzzkill, even when he's singing some of his best-ever lyrics. But it's not all wrist-slitting gloom here. "All the Lost Souls Welcome You to San Francisco" finds AMC bouncing through an actual pop song, as an uncharacteristically optimistic Eitzel reflects fondly on his former hometown. And the accordion-based "I Know That's Not Really You" plays out in relatively spiffy waltz time. Yet much of The Golden Age is reserved for mopey ballads like "The Windows on the World" where, once again, Eitzel proves that there's no such thing as too much melancholy.
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