Band of the Day

2012.01.06

Born Gold

Hyperactive explosions of glittering electro from Edmonton, Canada
What a weary way we fall, we're as old as emeralds.
lyrics from Wrinklecarver

Born Gold is the electro-pop project of Edmonton, Alberta resident Cecil Frena. Formerly known as Gobble Gobble, Frena switched monikers in summer 2011 before releasing the band's debut album Body Songs in September 2011. Frena is active in the Edmonton d.i.y. scene, helping to run Push Pins, an organization that organizes and promotes all ages shows in the Canadian city. Previously a singer in hardcore bands, Frena quit after the persistent screaming of that genre damaged his voice. Born Gold shares a similar intensity and high energy with hardcore, though Frena now uses spastic synths and riots of cut up beats instead of distorted guitars. Born Gold is known for their out of control live shows that incorporate audience interaction and various states of nudity. The band has played with bands including Dan Deacon, Miracle Fortress, and Washed out.

Electronic music has been getting called the new rock and roll a lot lately. This could be partially because rock hasn't felt truly rebellious since 1976 and critics need to talk about something, but it does seem like more and more of the ever-bubbling cauldron of fiery teenage revolt is being poured out onto beats and synthesizers. So enter Born Gold: they aren't infuriated like rock revolutionaries, they're bonkers and/or zany, hell-bent on making sure you have a good time like kindergarten teachers on ecstasy. Based out of Edmonton, the furthest north major city in Canada, Born Gold is essentially the project of Cecil Frena, an ex-hardcore singer who made the switch to dance. The band (which was called Gobble Gobble until recently) released its debut Bodysongs in September 2011. The album is pure candy-coated chaos, everything seems to be chopped up and rearranged with seizure-inducing speed and spontaneity. Frena even transforms his voice into another stuttering electronic instrument, bouncing off all the other pieces floating around the mix. While all this talk of speed and chaos might seem like it would be stressful, Bodysongs is pumped with enough glittery hooks to make all the mayhem compelling. “Lawn Knives” begins with a straightforward beat and bits of electric guitar ricocheting around like overheated electrons. Frena launches into an ultra-catchy wordless vocal line in the chorus as synth shots fly in and dance spastically around everything else. “Decimate Everything” sounds like a vacation to somewhere tropical on fast-forward with its quickly skipping beat and euphoric synths. As he does throughout the album, Frena mixes in a healthy dose of earnestness in his vocals, giving the otherwise frenetically neon soundscapes some levity. Born Gold's music isn't for everyone; its happy pandemonium will probably be jarring for some people, but let yourself be swept away by Frena's zeal and energetic vision and you're in for a treat.