Since 2015, Goldblume have been building towards this moment – the release of their debut album. Set for release on Aaahh!!! Real Records on November 9th, Husk represents the culmination of the last three years work. The EP’s and singles that have helped the band cultivate and carve out their unique sound have built towards this. Husk is a landmark moment for the Cambridge-based trio.
The effort opens with its title track. A raucous, unrelenting riot that throws you in at the deep end of their uncompromising sound. Elements of a wide range of genres and styles are immediately prevalent, the track is a cocktail of sound. The track is soaked in influence from math, grunge, punk, alternative, yet never seems to slot comfortably into any of these boxes, this becomes a recurring theme of the album.
‘Razor’ swiftly follows. Opening with a sludgy bass riff that is met with its accompanying guitars. The track lacks the ferocity of its predecessor but lacks none of the intensity or guile. The band are at their unconventional, perplexing best on ‘Razor’. The track is littered with twists and turns and enjoyable passages right up until its sudden ending.
On ‘Fiendish’ the band showcase their softer side initially, softer by their standards anyway. The track inevitably descends into the chaos the the band are known for. The Jekyll and Hyde performance makes for a highly enjoyable track. ‘Fill Your Boots’ and ‘We All Know Why and Who’ also feature a more sombre introductions that descend into a expertly crafted math-rock assaults. However, what is interesting the way that the band implement these devices in such varying ways. The calm before the storm kind of song writing is something that is often done in alternative music, but is rarely done with such dexterity. Husk manages to consistently feel fresh and exciting as a result. The tracks have very distinctive Goldblume DNA but all offer something unique that adds to the album.
‘Alice’ is where things really slow down. The track begins accompanied just with acoustic guitars and drums before more electronic sounds seamlessly wash their way into the composition.The laid-back style and female vocals provide a welcome respite from the trio’s otherwise unrelenting sound.
The album is rounded off with ‘Loose Fruits Part I’ and is subsequently followed by II and III. These cuts provide some of the darkest moments of the album. The tracks meld into one, expertly. A deep delve into themes like mental health ensure that the intensity and fire of the compositions is decisively matched by its subject matter. In the third instalment the band takes one last shot at lulling you in with a subdued opening. Its jarring tonal shift is once again masterfully applied, as the band kick into gear and wash you away with their sound for the last time.
Husk is everything that Goldblume fans will have hoped for. It features all of the bands intensity and honesty, just repackaged and diversified enough to sustain a full length effort. The album is stacked full of highlights that often catch you by surprise. The album has indefinite replay value as repeat listens offer nuances and textures to the tracks that can be easy to miss alongside such a busy array of sounds. It is sometimes hard to believe that this is the product of a band consisting of just three members.