Anybody who says rock n’ roll is dead, or at least dormant in San Francisco, obviously hasn’t seen Gold Minor live yet. Whether guitarist Adam Dragland is busting out a scintillating solo while literally climbing the venue’s walls or lead singer Michael Carney is belting out a soulful ballad like “Kiss The Night,” the band infuses new life into a genre that many claim is on life-support. It’s a bare basic formula they’re working with – loud guitars, blistering drum beats, thumping bass lines – but it’s played like the first time Chuck Berry duck-walked across a stage or Elvis Presley thrust his pelvis on the Ed Sullivan show.
It’s a refreshing sound and image in a musical landscape largely overpopulated with sad indie rock, emotionally cold electronica or lo-fi garage punks who release EPs without first learning how to play their instruments. The blogosphere may exalt the latest Kurt Cobain wannabes out there, but I appreciate the fact that Gold Minor stretches a bit further back than recent pop music history for their heroes: the proudly blue collar grit of Bob Seger, the atmospheric soundscapes of early U2, the fierce rawness of The Stooges. Rock n’ roll should be excessive and sometimes absurdly over-the-top and, at the very least, wildly entertaining. This is a fact the major dudes in Gold Minor intrinsically understand.
Their latest single “Take Me Home” is officially being released Friday night at their Brick and Mortar show. It’s a more subdued offering compared to tracks like “The Right Time,” and it grooves with a swing more than a crash. But when the booming chorus hits, the feeling is undeniable – this is what rock n’ roll sounds like.