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Broken Gold Rushes Township Thursday

By Casey Moffitt in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 9, 2014 7:00PM

Photo by Autumn Spadaro

Pop-punk might be a kind of wolfsbane for some as it usually means punk for kids who like to hang out at the mall. And though we're reluctant to tag Broken Gold as a pop-punk band, it kind of is the best—or maybe the worst—description for this Austin-based quartet appearing at Township Thursday night.

Broken Gold has somehow managed to become a sort of amalgam of punk through the ages. The question of "where does punk begin" can be debated until sunrise and still come to no conclusion. But let's say Broken Gold mixes elements of pre-proto punk bands like The Who in its early years, or the Kinks or The Jam. They take those elements, along with more traditional punk acts like The Clash to '90s punk revivalists like Sugar and put it all together. Instead of working individual songs by going through the ages, Broken Gold combines elements of all these eras into each song to make for a pretty wild trip.

The guitars on the band's studio efforts really stand out. The rhythm parts in the back tend to be more of the jingle-jangle variety, while the leads are more abrasive. What's fun about Broken Gold is how they find a way to sneak in massive crescendos into their songs. Instead of big hits or a sudden roaring guitar solo, the listener kind of realizes that the sound Broken Gold is making is absolutely huge, you just didn't notice how they were getting there.

Frontman Ian McDougall has a rather rough and tumble voice, one that nearly masks the desperate lyrics he's singing. They are vague enough to be open to interpretation, but it's pretty clear he's usually not singing about happy times. Thankfully the music is upbeat enough so the songs aren't depressing.

If the name sounds familiar it's because McDougall plays guitar for Riverboat Gamblers. Bass player Rob Marchant also does double duty for the Gamblers and Broken Gold.

Broken Gold is out supporting its latest release, the six-song EP Residency at Hundo Beach which hit the street last month. It's a good release even if it doesn't have the same sense of urgency as the band's previous full-length 2011 album Recovery Journal. Reisdency is a bit more pretty, but still a good listen.

It should be a fun late-night show at Township as locals Negative Scanner and Nonnie Parry round out the bill.

Broken Gold plays Thursday, April 10, at Township, 2200-2202 N. California, 10 p.m., $5, 21+