The combined age of the two final bands featured on WTUL’s Back To School Bash at Tipitina’s Thursday night would make them barely old enough to walk and somewhere deep into the Terrible Two’s.
Having not heard of Gold and the Rush until Thursday afternoon, I was completely in the dark as to their sound. I discovered that, although they describe one of their tunes written four months ago as “old,” they come off as road-tested, having already jelled into a well-formed Americana-tinged rock band, representing an amalgamation of too many rough-and-tumble outfits to name, but with an entirely unique vocal presence from bands prior.
There were even a couple of moments of unexpected transcendence toward the end, delivering a revelatory set that’ll undoubtedly help build the band’s following via word-of-mouth from those in attendance.
Despite a rough vocal mix for the early portion of the set and an assumedly small catalog, Gold and Rush put together nearly an hour’s worth of new, impressive material that teetered between pure-bred rock-and-roll, and country-infused punk-a-billy.
Although I’d heard a some of the local buzz surrounding Big History, I wasn’t too familiar with their sound either. And I definitely wasn’t expecting a fully-developed, lustrous sound akin to an industrious, well-traveled band of producers two or three albums deep into the fray.
Instrumentally, comparisons to New Order and Yeasayer (ODD BLOOD-era, particularly “ONE”) immediately came to mind for the local headlining dance-pop troupe. Almost every song rode upon a thick layer of four-on-the-floor dance beats and were infused with layer-upon-layer of synths and electronic flourishes to surround lead singer’s Meg Roussel’s smokey vocals.
Ear-lingering hooks flew in from all directions during the set — violins, synths, keyboards, and MacBooks provided some much-needed depth that is lacking for many dance-pop bands, less deserving of their recent popularity. Like yours truly, members of this band were the elders in the room, talking to the mostly college-aged crowd, telling them to cherish it, live it up, drink up, etc. throughout the set.
Big History’s EP is solid, but to know exactly what this band is fully capable of, you’ve gotta come out for a show.