Leave No Trace Reviewed by The Observer, DJ Mag, The Quietus
"Leave No Trace" reviewed by The Observer, DJ Mag, and The Quietus.
4 Stars- When Fool's Gold released their excellent self-titled debut in 2009, the LA band's African-inflected pop risked lumbering the 15-strong collective with the tag of Vampire Weekend copyists, even though frontman Luke Top often sang in Hebrew. Their immensely satisfying second album finds a core of five players toning down the Hebrew, and turning up the early 80s. "The Dive" in particular suggests the Smiths on a west African beach. Elsewhere, songs such as "Wild Window" channel brittle white funk. Throughout, Fool's Gold lollop along confidently, Top's husky croon offset by Lewis Pesacov's guitar lines, like dewy spider's web.
8.0- Pyrite on the money. It's out with Hebrew lyrics- and half their members- and in with synths and The Smiths for the newly slim-line Afro-fusion band Fool's Gold. With singer Luke Top sounding like a less lugubrious Morrissey, the Californians' second album owes as much to Manchester as it does to Mali, but it keeps the ebullient spirit of 2010's debut.
Tracks like 'The Dive' and 'Wild Window', with their melancholy melodies and jangling guitars, recall 80s indie icons like the Smiths and the Bunnymen, whilst 'Street Clothes' takes an unexpected detour into disco-funk territory. Closing ballad 'Lantern', meanwhile, is as soul-stirring as a dream meeting between Tinariwen and Al Green. But, ironically, in expanding their sound, these guys may have sacrificed the singular vision that previously defined them - and with it their individuality.
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