Mount Carmel, Hawkwind, Earthless
The seven song short LP debut from Golden Void is impressive in its ability to capture an authentic 70's psychedelic sound and weathered feel. The San Francisco based foursome are clearly enamored with the sound and stature of Hawkwind, having named themselves after the a track off their 1975 album Warrior on the Edge of Time.
Unfortunately the album is not scoring very high on the rotation dial for one particular reason. Six of the seven songs are very good, but it is track two, "Virtue" that falls woefully short. The melody or hook within the song is painful to listen to and vocalist Isaiah Mitchell is trying some strange off key technique. While the lyrics are not all that awful and contemplate the decisions we confront during life, the off-putting vocals on the track really combat the heavier riffs and chaotic percussion work. Bottom line is that this five minute song taints our listening experience and forces us to fast forward each time. Our recommendation would be to download the six tracks and leave this one off to avoid the annoyance. Outside of this, Mitchell, (formerly of the band Earthless) does an excellent job with a balanced vocal approach mixing in good use of echo and tenor. His vocals clearly have a strong influence from Cream’s Jack Bruce.
Another bright spot throughout the album is Justin Pinkerton's drum-work which is very versatile and unique. His technique keeps a buoyant and light feel to the music, quite uplifting and infectious. The third track, "Jetsun Dolma" contains some great wah-wah peddle shredding coupled with some very smooth and funky bass work by Aaron Morgan. Track five, "Shady Grove" is a very catchy 70's to the bone track where the vocals follow the guitar-line very well. Simplicity and warmth throughout this song. Our favorite track on the album is the 7:47 minute "Atlantis," it's an epic, progressive/psychedelic tune that has a tremendous melody and build-up. This track is hypnotic and we see influence from the likes of Wishbone Ash and Focus. Tremendous images are painted by this song as we particularly enjoy the distorted vocals and use of sleigh bells at about the five minute mark, terrific touch.
Overall these four musicians are very talented and have put forth an entertaining album. We are just left scratching our heads again about track two. Had they eliminated this and perhaps expanded the six others with some more great guitar-work and percussion, this one may have hit an editor's pick for us. - 9/1/2014
Standout Tracks: Atlantis, Shady Grove