Baroness
Gold and Grey


4.0
excellent

Review

by MiloRuggles USER (6 Reviews)
July 14th, 2019 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Capital P Progression

Well, Baroness, it's been a hell of a ride. I'm not just talking about the time you careened off of a viaduct in a bus, although that's clearly a pretty big part of the narrative here. John's (just thought I'd take the lead on the first-name basis thing) detailed account of the accident that he posted in its aftermath was harrowing, but oddly uplifting. The courage displayed in his determination to get Baroness back together and back on that bus remains particularly inspiring.

This next bit sucks to say, but I have to admit that you lost me there, guys (not girl(you weren't involved yet)). Purple wasn't what I was hoping for, and consequentially the fickle fan in me began to see you as that band I remember liking a whole lot more before their expensive recording equipment was crushed- unfortunately alongside their profitably dexterous bodies- in what my mind's eye pictures as a floral VW Van rolling through Bath, Baizley's grizzled and grinning head poking out of the passenger seat window, lolling tongue being whipped around by the breeze, the whole band blissfully unaware of the tragedy that's about to unfold.

Potentially inappropriate levity aside, the production has been a significant source of contention for long-time fans of the band, and as a result pre-listening worry and post-listening complaint has permeated the first wave of discourse surrounding Gold & Grey's release. Dave Fridmann's name is getting tossed around like a Disney star at a Weinstein party, with a similarly callous disregard for his feelings. A big drop in user-ratings and their resultant average scores across various websites seem to suggest that this album isn't being given a chance by a large number of what appear to be ex-Baroness fans, and I think that people are calling this one wrong.

Gold and Grey doesn't suck at all. Your first listen(s) might sound disjointed, and the production will disappoint you if Purple's style ain't your thing. After your initial and inevitable fixation on these problems, try your best to just let them the fuck go and dive on in again. For those of you that somehow don't get it yet, this album shares a rather overwhelming resemblance to my very own cock and its manifold forms. It's a grower.

I'd now like to make another somewhat crass statement, and I'd like you to pay close attention and really think on it. The era of Way Back When can go fuck itself with a razorblade. We're all aging here, in the present, where we've been presented with an album that feels like the logical progression from Yellow & Green that we all wished for Purple to be, but we're all too mad to realise it.

Remember that band that you really enjoyed on First and Second with the quirky, off-kilter sludgy riffs?They're still here. Remember the band that did that same thing even better while flirting with progressive tendencies and suddenly seeming virtousic in the quality of their interplay and-tie my limbs to a quartet of stallions, do I hear bluegrass!?- on Red and Blue?They're still here. Remember the band that kinda disappointed you with Yellow & Green but then a few more spins proved to you that their experiments in more subtle psychedelic effects and textures and some pop sensibilities actually reaped some serious rewards?They're definitely still here, still sans harsh vocals, of course.

“Well what have they actually progressed in, then, you offensive, patronising cunt of a reviewer?”

Well, fuck you too, pal. John Baizley's yelling is more tuneful than ever, and actually genuinely emotionally inflicting in his performances on I'd Do Anything and Pale Sun. The psychedelia is fucking rife. There is some fresh experimentation within both the transitional tracks and the rock bangers. Seemingly throwaway experiments in meter actually pay some long-term rewards in some grooves that stick with you in songs like Tourniquet. There is playful yet heavy virtuosity in the likes of Seasons' guitar-led bridge, and also holy shit Seasons is actually not just a gimmick song with a blast-beat, it's a truly noteworthy example of experimentation being introduced alongside some seriously competent song-writing abilities. Gina Gleason plays guitar well and sings just like the other dude did, close harmonies and all, but with a couple more tricks up her sleeve, pinning a shiny 'Female Vocals' badge onto Baroness's cluttered Boy Scout sash. Nick Jost stitches together some insanely cool basslines on tracks like Borderlines and I'm Already Gone. Sebastian Thomson seems to genuinely enjoy fucking pummeling his kit with Grohl-brand aggression, with the added quality of being able to lock into some seriously fun rhythms with has bass-playing affiliate in the rhythm section, although- it must be said- the drum-sound is truly horrendous in parts. Finally, and to reiterate, there's Seasons. Fuck me, what a song.

You surely mustn't have expected that the production would be crisp and natural. It's not- and it's not great from a traditional production perspective- but many of the more creative production techniques utilised pay large dividends in somehow connecting this seemingly disparate, otherworldly version of Baroness into one cohesive hour's worth of a band delivering honest-to-God progression by the metric shitload to an audience that seems to be too distracted by the colour of the walls to actually pay much attention to the music itself.

Now that we've reached this weird, self-perpetuating impasse wherein variations of the word 'disappointment' are being lazily thrown around in all sorts of forums in relation to Gold & Grey, it seems important to me that anyone who's ever been a fan of Baroness should have a handful of attempts at listening to this album, because I guarantee you that at least a few moments on here are going to stick with you as some of the best of their career, even if you have to battle through some poor production, bland lyrics, and a couple of throwaway songs on your way to this realisation

May the road rise up to meet you, Baroness, albeit a bit more gently than before. I hope your fans- past and present- treat you with the respect that you have earned many times over. Keep doing things your own way.

With sincere love,

Milo



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Comments:Add a Comment 
MiloRuggles
July 14th 2019


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No offense intended, just in case that's not obvious.



Here's a link to the letter I mention at the start, it's a pretty crazy read. http://yourbaroness.com/update-from-baroness/#more-501

Papa Universe
July 14th 2019


22396 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well, I've listened to it four times now and I am still thoroughly underwhelmed, but point taken. will definitely sound fantastic live

baroPOSs

zakalwe
July 14th 2019


28297 Comments


British Motorway. Correct vernacular or I’m negging it to fuck.

Papa Universe
July 14th 2019


22396 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

*correct the vernacular

zakalwe
July 14th 2019


28297 Comments


Bollocks

MiloRuggles
July 14th 2019


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Point taken my presumably British associate. fixd

zakalwe
July 14th 2019


28297 Comments


Having had a look it was actually off a viaduct.

MiloRuggles
July 14th 2019


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, shove me up a dead bears ass and call me Darren. Off my PC now, will fix it another time

DoofDoof
July 14th 2019


4830 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album is abysmal

Papa Universe
July 14th 2019


22396 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"shove me up a dead bears ass and call me Darren"

Canadian?

DoofDoof
July 14th 2019


4830 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

For some reason I thought this reviewer might have been Butcherboy in disguise

Papa Universe
July 14th 2019


22396 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

too kind in the articulation, not him

Kompys2000
July 14th 2019


3046 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

pretty good fucking review

MiloRuggles
July 14th 2019


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers fulla.



Thanks for the pos papa! Nah, not Canadian, I'll leave you guessing ;)

Papa Universe
July 14th 2019


22396 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

where else can you get ass-ramming bears and names like Darren, Alaska or Minnesota?

MiloRuggles
July 14th 2019


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's a question I've been asking myself for decades now, but I'm afraid I just borrowed those nouns from the nucks for a moment

Papa Universe
July 14th 2019


22396 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

US northerner. nobody else calls the pepsis 'nucks'

MiloRuggles
July 14th 2019


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank the Lord above I'm nowhere near that entire hot mess

Papa Universe
July 14th 2019


22396 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'll be back at you with this soon.

madcowdisease
July 14th 2019


64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

correct, album slaps. pos.



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