Golden Teacher - No Luscious Life
Anyone reading this esteemed publication will, of course, already be familiar with the work of Golden Teacher. You’ll know, we’ll assume, that the Scottish six-piece had a slew of singles on Optimo Music so diverse that the only connecting thread seemed to be wild abandon and a lifetime guarantee of dancefloor success. We’ll take it as read that their self-released Sauchiehall Entrall EP, which threw dancehall, post-punk and techno into the mix, blew your mind too.
If any or all of this is news to you then you’re in for a treat. But first, you might want to acquaint yourself to their brand-new album and then work backwards. Golden Teacher arrived as very much a fully-realised act and, as such, there are no great leaps on this long player, but then they were already jumping far higher than most of their peers.
Broadly speaking, what we have is a mixture of post-punk, techno, dancehall and African rhythms that are all heading in one direction and very fast – the nearest dancefloor. Much is spoken about “energy” when it comes to music that’s designed to make us dance, it’s embedded in the kinetic force it’s intended to release, but rarely can you hear that vitality and vivacity so clearly in the music itself. No Luscious Life could start a party in an empty room.
Whether it’s the infectious bounce and shrill top note charge of “Sauchiehall Withdrawal” or the steady acid throb and wild keyboard oscillations of “Spiritron”, it’s virtually impossible to keep still in the presence of this album. It feels intuitive rather than calculated; a natural flow where it’s all come out at once – the spirit of Paranoid London without the need to drive everything into the red.
Indeed, on “The Kazmier” things get decidedly slower, though with no dial-down on intent. Synths squelch in the heat of a blazing New York sun, while the backline propels us ever forward, it doesn’t feel like a rest as such, more like interval training. The same can be said for the heavy dub of “Shatter (version)” which keeps the pace even and us moving. It’s metal music in many ways; at times, percussive found sounds ring out with a dissonance that counterpoints the melodies they tether. It makes for a compelling listen and an immersive experience. This is probably most clearly exhibited on the sprawling, sprinting “What Fresh Hell Is This?” but, in truth, it’s everywhere to some degree or other.
Throughout, Cassie Ojay’s vocals drift in and out, colouring in the sketched out landscapes with character and verve. No Luscious Life may cover sonic territory that has been traversed by others in the past, but Golden Teacher are doing their utmost to make it their own.