In nearly every album made, there are moments of silence. Whether it’s in between the verses or the songs themselves, these little nuggets give the listener time to absorb and process what they’ve just heard. Gold-Bears
apparently have no interest in such concepts since their debut, Are You Falling In Love?
, doesn’t let up for a second. Constant noise streams through the speakers for all of 33 minutes. If that wasn’t bad enough, none of these fuzzy punk songs have any distinguishing qualities. They all fall under a wall of noise.
“Record Store” opens the album, letting some interesting characteristics seep through. Slamming drum beats introduce an acoustically-charged riff in the forefront, naturally behind a wall of heavy distortion. Soon enough, though, the reverb overtakes all, creating a headache-inducing din. Get used to this sound. It’s the primary rhythm in the LP. “East Station Attendant”, “Totally Called It”, and “In This City, I’m Invincible” don’t need describing. They’re exactly like the first song, only without the decent acoustics from before.
If you manage to get far enough into the record without a migraine, your reward is the slowed-down “Besides You”. For one, there’s no reverb, so that warrants some rejoicing in itself. Instead, we’re given a plucked-out, repeating melody that’s clear, sharp, and a much-needed contrast. The vocals are still a little distant, but they have an otherworldly vibe when accompanied by wordless “oohs” in the background.
Unfortunately, “Besides You” is the only song really worth mentioning. Everything else is so awash in a wall of buzzing noises, you’d think you were at the World Cup and surrounded by vuvuzelas. It’s incredibly distracting and doesn’t offer anything new. Judging from where they’re at here, Gold-Bears will need to fix up their formula if they want anyone to answer “Yes” about them in regards to the album title. Falling in love? Far from it.