Formerly known as GOLD, on their 2019 LP Why Aren’t You Laughing, GGGOLDDD were as different in sound as they were in name. Compact, more narrow in its focus, less prone to experimentation, but still hinging on the melodic and ethereal vocals of Milena Eva. As a band they were considerably weighted with the depths of an aesthetic rich with gothic despair. By contrast, This Shame Should Not Be Mine earns its mood, when measured against both time and experience, the collective known as GGGOLDDD change their sonic foundation to match the moment we reside in.
Sitting somewhere between weighty maximalism and austere minimalism, as a band, GGGOLDDD incorporate much of their harmonic qualities through rowdy and intense droning. There’s still trademark weepy, solemn and quietly vulnerable passages, and metal-influenced choruses and breakdowns, chaos happening among ordered and transformative art pop. Its core difference is its intensity and stalwart comfort with empty spaces, something that is becoming certainly more fashionable and permitted in certain genres.
“I wish I was a Wild Thing With A Simple Heart” feels directly inspired by horror film scores, a slab of tension shifting under moody synths spilling forth into empty fields, only to be perforated by a nightmarish pitch change and finally Eva’s resin-smooth vocals stabbing down like a cool knife. A percussive arrangement prevents the track from following a well worn path and provides dynamic opportunity instead. “Strawberry Supper” demonstrates a similar coolness of focus and aim, slowly working out of its cold empty spaces unto a canvas of operatic explosion, waging spite and rage both lyrically and sonically.
These negative spaces however, wouldn’t be as impressive as they are without the artful electronic breakdowns and integrations that help color them. Demonstrated in “Like Magic” where Eva and Thomas Sciarone do so much to define the profile of the track, managing to focus on their careful electronic maneuvers among crushing black metal. “Invisible” has some early darkwave-sounding harmonics, including a rhythm that is emboldened by its subtle bass.
GGGOLDDD dedicate some space on the album throughout for more traditional sounds, like on “I Won’t Let You Down,” a ballad that lets its ending revel in spacey, heady bliss, pushing Eva’s vocals to soaring highs among gossamer soundscapes. Yet, this album’s greatest character is its experimentation, the band’s willingness to put things out of order, or to let the oddness of a more traditional track be undone by an unexpected ending. Equally unsurprising is the album’s penchant not for pop as a whole, but for pop affected moments. For instance, “Notes on How to Trust” is a glowing and surprisingly catchy noir-tinged affair that revels in its disinterest among retro industrial impressions.
With a mood resembling a mosh pit at a funeral, This Shame Should Not Be Mine is propelled by its claustrophobia and sudden departure of comfort. Confrontational in the best ways, and only occasionally beholden to traditional formulations of track types, it’s an album that wades deep into the waters of chaos, benefitting from its brazen absence of traditional analogue instrumentation.