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Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts

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Album Review

LP #3 for this fine D.C. quintet is a disappointment. This writer usually loves good, strong production, so the hiring of Cliff Norrell, fresh from his inspired mixing work on Catherine Wheel's Happy Days and R.E.M.'s Automatic For the People, sounded perfect for V.G. Instead, Norrell's taken the spunk out of them. The sound is not too glossy, or dull, or plodding. It's just too perfect, too streamlined, too clean, transforming a promising indie outfit into just another pop group, like a million faceless others. The group's long-standing virtues, its modesty, it's love of pop craft, it's amiable nature, are all here, and Gilded Stars should be a fine effort, but it lacks the old edge. "Gilded Stars" and "Same Old City" should be world-beaters; instead they're world-wearies headed toward easy-listening oblivion. That these songs came to life live, recently, points the finger at a confining production job.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Marrying the feedback-drenched sonic assault of the British shoegazer scene with the melodic immediacy of classic pop — an approach critics dubbed "bubblegrunge" — Velocity Girl emerged as one of the most successful and acclaimed indie rock bands of the early '90s. Their roots lay in the short-lived Gotterdammacrats, which formed in Silver Spring, MD in September 1988 around the nucleus of singer/guitarist Archie Moore, bassist Kelly Riles, guitarist John Barnett, and drummer Berny Grindel....
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Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts, Velocity Girl
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