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Free Gold!

Indian Jewelry

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Album Review

From album to album, Indian Jewelry find surprisingly eclectic ways to express their wild and dense musical instincts. We Are the Wild Beast buried its melodies under heroic doses of distortion, hissing electronics, and ominous attitude, while Invasive Exotics reined in that surface chaos to hone in on the droning heart of the band's music. Free Gold! goes in another direction altogether, focusing on the subtler side of Indian Jewelry's music that crept out only occasionally on their earlier work. Instead of abrasive blasts, the relatively subdued, often lulling textures here give these songs a woozy, hallucinatory feel, even when the drum machines stiffen and the guitars and keyboards turn jagged and atonal, as on "Temporary Famine Ship," which sounds like it's driven by a hive of metal insects and whip-cracking robots. Aside from this song and "Hello! Africa"'s swaggering synth rock menace, Free Gold!'s overall vibe is mostly mellow and hallucinogenic. Many of the album's best moments have the gritty shimmer of an oil slick, whether it's "Swans"' huge drones, which feel as hazy and suffocating as heat shimmer, "Walking on the Water"'s viscous backward guitars, or the gorgeous yet sinister bliss of "Overdrive." The wasabi-like sting of Indian Jewelry's previous weird aggressiveness is missed occasionally, butFree Gold! makes up what it lacks in intensity with variety. "Everyday"'s close harmonies and acoustic guitars are strikingly different than any of the band's previous work, as are the shambling psych-pop of "Pompeii" or the free-falling electronics on "Syllabic Viaagra." With a range from suffocating to cavernous, from jangly psych rock to industrial-tinged rants, Free Gold! shows that Indian Jewelry's music is growing ever more distinctive and sophisticated.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Crafting a dense, almost unclassifiable, but often very melodic sound, Houston, TX's Indian Jewelry feature the core trio of guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Erika Thrasher, guitarist/vocalist Tex Kerschen, and drummer Rodney Rodriguez. The group was also known as Swarm of Angels, Turquoise Diamonds, Japanix, the Corpes of Waco, the Perpetual War Party Band, and NTX+Electric. The band's basic sound remained the same, however, uniting drum machines, drones, noise, and other elements of experimental,...
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Free Gold!, Indian Jewelry
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