Golden Calf – Small Leaks Sink Ships: An Album Review
For all intents and purposes, Golden Calf is Small Leaks Sink Ships’ sophomore release.They dropped Until the World is Happy Wake Up You Sleepyhead Sun back in 2007. But in so many ways, that was a completely different band than the one that released Face Yourself and Remove Your Sandals in 2015. Different not only because of the near decade that had passed between releasing full-lengths, but different because of the perspective-altering tribulations the Portland-based 4-piece faced down together in the interim.
The route Small Leaks Sink Ships took to the precipice of immortality where they now stand is one that breeds resilience, patience, and faith, while also nurturing an attitude and ideal of putting out the best record possible right now. Having survived through the near deaths of two members, Small Leaks knows better than most the importance of putting everything one has behind one’s art and doing everything one can to leave one’s mark — and for Small Leaks that mark may very well be Golden Calf.
I listened to Golden Calf in its entirety for the first time over a year ago, and since then it has been my greatest labor in life to not spill the beans about how incredible it is. Small Leaks has finally added some pop sensibility to their already complicated and beautiful music, and the results are staggering. The record is upbeat, ethereal, entrancing, and meant for more than one listen. It’s hard to believe how many emotional nerves this band can pinch with so few lyrics.
Small Leaks really put together a gorgeous musical experience with Golden Calf, and it’s easy to see that this is going to be the record that finally nets them the wide-scale attention they have always been worthy of. The 9-song, 40-minute masterpiece is out now on vinyl and digital release through Lefse Records and is well worth the price.