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Husbands – After the Gold Rush Party (Cowboy 2.0/Clerestory AV)

Husbands-After the Gold Rush Party
6 June 2020

Based in Oklahoma City and Seattle, former college buddies Wil Norton and Danny Davis – who met at Oklahoma Christian University while working on a Godzilla musical – crafted this second LP (following 2015’s Golden Year) remotely, in between their attorney and software engineer day jobs. Beyond the title appropriation of his 1970 third album, After doesn’t evoke Neil Young; instead, its elastic, jangly music mixes Wild Nothing/Beach Fossils indie pop with Devo art-rock/new wave and Best Coast surf rock. Bolstered by tight, Neu!/motorik-inspired rhythms, and the duo’s engaging vocals and offbeat lyrics, “Manhorse,” “Mexico” (which sports spot-on Beach Boys harmonies!), and single “Speed Racer” are spirited and infectious, while lighter, dreamier numbers “Culebra,” “3AM,” and “Piggy” blend Beach House, Death Cab For Cutie, and Fake Laugh. The New Order-ish “Bikini Bottoms,” with its “Dancing in the Dark”-mimicking chorus, ends the party on a satisfying high note. (If you like the album, also check out Wayne John, a newly-released collection of demos and b-sides from 2015-19 that contains similar pleasures.) (,