Are they punk? Are they hardcore? Melodic Hardcore? One thing I do know is that they are original. It's hard to put a finger on the band’s sound, pulling elements from trashy skate punk stalwarts from years past and combining that sound with technical riffs, angular chord shapes, non traditional song structures and elements from post and math rock. Singer Ben Kotin’s smart and clean melodies consist of equal parts emotion and aggression at the exact right moments. They keep the listener pleasantly awaiting what’s around the corner. They are not afraid to break the mold, shake things up and do things their own way.
Such Gold was formed in 2009 in Rochester, NY and was steeped in the region's tradition for quality punk, melodic hardcore bands and the DIY ethic. The band quickly released a demo, followed by a series of EPs and 7”s on various labels. In 2012 the band released their full length debut Misadventures on label Razor and Tie, produced by the renowned Steve Evetts (Kid Dynamite, Saves the Day, Hatebreed). The LP reached #6 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and brought the band instant acclaim with both the hardcore and pop punk scenes. They’ve spent equal amounts of time touring both domestically and abroad with the likes of Strung Out, PUP, The Story So Far, PEARS, Anti Flag and A Wilhelm Scream.
There were a few bumps in the road during the band’s formative years, including the departure of guitarist Skylar Sarkis and drummer Devan Bentley. Kotin seized the opportunity to fill the void on guitar, which sparked a new creative element in the band and a musical push into new territory. Kotin, original guitarist Nate Derby and bassist Jon Markson recruited drummer Matt Covey (formerly of Shai Hulud) and that brings us to the Such Gold of today. 2014’s The New Sidewalk was the first to feature the new lineup and a more complex and intense Such Gold. The record was produced by Bill Stevenson (Alkaline Trio, NOFX, Bouncing Souls) who's affectionately commented, “These kids shred balls.” The new incarnation of the band saw a further shift away from the band’s earlier pop punk tendencies and found them identifying more with the music they grew up with—fast, riffy, technical, forward thinking punk rock. During the breakdown of The New Sidewalk’s nearly 5 minute long dynamic title track, Kotin screams “Find a space, hold it down.” That’s exactly what Such Gold has finally done—instead of finding a niche to fit into, they’ve created their own.
Just six months after the release of The New Sidewalk the band parted ways with label Razor and Tie and their management. Without any backing, expectations, time constraints or pressure, the band was inspired to take matters into their own hands, channel the DIY ethic and make the record they wanted on their own terms. “It was a cool and freeing experience to work on this record without the same type of limitations that we’ve had in the past,” says bassist Markson, who produced and engineered the new material at his own facility, Gallery Recording Studio. These sessions produced a diverse yet cohesive batch of songs that are a brave step forward for the band and will surface sometime in late 2016.
The band will soon re-release 2010’s Pedestals along with material from a few splits that have been long out of print. “For a scene that has seen a lot of change, including in our band, and to watch many bands that came up around the same time as us break up and fizzle out, it feels triumphant to be able to re-release this stuff. Later in the year we are releasing new music, our most adventurous music to date and we are keeping on with the fury and adventure of the whole thing,” says Markson.
For these upcoming releases Such Gold has teamed up with Bird Attack Records, founded by the band’s long-time friend Garrett Wadford. “We met Garrett several years ago while playing a fest in Costa Rica and have stayed good friends ever since,” guitarist Nate Derby says. “It’s been great to watch him grow Bird Attack Records into a record label synonymous with quality punk music and I think he’s long since proven to us that Bird Attack is a worthy home for our band. We are super excited for this opportunity.”