It’s not that Bars of Gold are defiant; it’s that they’re fortifying… Cuz when a record label suggested this Detroit-based quintet cut one of their three guitar players, they went ahead and invited another friend to join the band—another guitarist! That may be because the virtue of a “family” is what’s at the forefront of their collective brain, rather than “streamlining” their “band” to make it in the “industry.” Why take anything away, when you can bolster? That’s Bars of Gold!
For first timers pressing “play,” it’s about impossible not to be swept up in the the tidal forcefulness of the six-piece’s gutsy, guitar-heavy new songs on SHELTERS. Their third album is a composite of various intensities: an ambient post-rock record with torrential rhythms, a folk-metal foray with extremely keen sensibilities for dynamics, it’s math rock for the pub, it’s CBGB’s if CBGB’s were on the shore of a Great Lake, and it’s also probably effectively evocative if you were to set it as a soundtrack to footage of mountain bike stunts, parkour, or skateboard rail shreds. Try to dance to it and you twist an ankle, try to sing along with it and you might go hoarse, but if you do anything, just let the guitars, all four of them, wash over you in a gracefully interwoven sonic ballet of melodic distortion and taut, reverb-soaked riffs.