Golden Teacher came tumbling back into our ears in a familiar yet chaotic fashion: they say themselves, “accept no substitute” – it really is quite difficult to think of anyone capable of swapping places with the Glasgow band.
Rocking out of the Green Door Studios, Golden Teacher chuck out a barely-tamed mix of housey beats, rhythms and quacks married to sometimes sinisterly spat vocals and the deepest of deep dub: it does bring to mind the marriage of punk and dance of bands like the late-lamented Playgroup but this is nonetheless pretty original and wild stuff.
Opener ‘Sauchiehall Withdrawl’ has leading lass Cassie Oji wondering, “I’m always working so hard…and for what?“, against supremely danceable, but spare percussion, an acidic bassline and keyboard stabs: it’s dizzying stuff: exactly like that rather unique stretch of Glasgow on a Saturday night, in fact.
‘Shatter’ takes things deeper with the sort of prowling bassline to suggest doom is just around the next corner in a John Carpenter-directed street scene – a little purple, perhaps, but as well as being hip-waggling stuff, the song, like almost all of the band’s output, is extremely evocative; it’s the dark night brought into your ears via some voodoo goings on.
You can certainly see why Golden Teacher have thrived in Glasgow – they’re almost tailormade for all-conquering chaps about town, Optimo (who they have a sometime association with).
The mix of harsh attitude yet dancefloor mayhem is surely most at home at that clubbing institution.
There are other vocals supplied by Charles Lavenac – as on the excellently whippy ‘Spiritron’ – but there is no doubt, that when it comes to fronting the band, Oji is the star: narky but bewitching on record, really quite extraordinary live: full potential to go all the way.
Golden Teacher were at a point where they have the ability to unleash a real ripsnorter and take the next step – excellent though No Luscious Life is, I’m unsure this is the one, but with their members already forming new projects I’m sure there will be plenty special to come.
Although noirish and even vicious, the album is quite subtle and brooding: more forceful use of the vocals may be needed to drag in those who are (stupidly) not content with dark and twisted grooves being the overriding attraction.
If you are – and you should be – this is a blinding release: perverse, groovy, contorted and never far away from a shady disco… works for me.