Ethan Gold: Songs From A Toxic Apartment

Ethan Gold: Songs From A Toxic Apartment
San Francisco-born, L.A.-based singer/songwriter, Ethan Gold recorded Songs From A Toxic Apartment in his one bedroom flat. On the album, he provides all the instruments heard including vocals, piano, guitar, and drums amongst others. Just to round out the DIY ethics, Gold self-releases the album on his own label, Gold Records.
I greatly respect Ethan Gold’s DIY ethics but I did not want that to impact my opinion of the album; after all, I have been known to dislike most singer/songwriters not named Dan Bejar or Bob Dylan. But Gold does an excellent job of not being a “singer/songwriter” so to speak. There are plenty of tracks on the album that if told it was recorded by a four piece band, I would have believed it. Take for instance my favorite track “Royal Flush.” First off, I know what you are thinking and no, it is not a Big Boi cover. Secondly, the song features a great piano line and electronic drum; the combination reminds me of Muse. Gold’s voice isn’t exactly Matthew Bellamy’s, unfortunately.
Ethan Gold’s vocals are perhaps the most dynamic part of the album. His vocals have a certain trademark sound to them yet from song to song I could easily compare them to different singers. On “Come On Beat It Down”, Gold sounds like the fragiler moments from Rivers Cuomo‘s early days. On “Tonight…”, Gold’s falsetto reminds me of Davey von Bohlen‘s work in Maritime. On “I.C.U. (Toxic)”, Gold’s vocals sound like Walter Schreifels‘s vocals in Rival Schools but trying for a little more of a dark, 90s alt-rock feel.
That dark, 90s alt-rock feel is one that is pervasive throughout the album and I must admit it feels a little passe. Occasionally it work like on “Royal Flush” but for the most part it feels like Gold is aping bands like Days of the New and such. In the end, I enjoy Gold’s ethics and perserverence but the album rubs me as mediocre at best.
Rating: 5.8/10
MP3: Ethan Gold “Royal Flush”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon

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