Forever Goldrush - Halo In My Backpack
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Halo In My Backpack (Cargo, 2000)

Forever Goldrush

Reviewed by Michael Berick

Grange - that musical collision of twang and grunge - makes a good touch-point for Forever Goldrush. In Damon Wyckoff's emotive singing style, you can imagine an Eddie Vedder had he been raised on a rural route. And his soul-torn tunes possess the angst so prevalent in grunge. But instead of grunge's sound and fury, this Sacramento, Cal. band mines a more Southern rock vein that injects a spiritedness to these dark tales. Their country and blues influences imbue tunes like the honky tonky "In The Graveyard" and the revved-up boogie "Brothers Give Me Arms."

The group demonstrates marked improvements here. The playing, led by Joe Lacey's sly and biting guitar work and Mason DeMusey and Nate Gonzalez's forceful rhythm section, is much tighter, lending the music a greater urgency. Also, Wyckoff's love-scarred lyrics feel more personal this time around, increasing the songs' emotional depth. It's easy to describe Forever Goldrush as a less melodramatic Eddie Vedder fronting a less jam-oriented Allman Brothers, but gems like the bitter "Vicious Ways" or the heart aching "In My Rebuilding" reveals a band that deftly meshes grunge's woe and twang's whine into powerful music.

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