Husbands – After the Gold Rush Party

After the Gold Rush Party is the sophomore album from Oklahoma’s Husbands. Danny Davis and Wil Norton met back in University and instantly hit it off. Over the years they would write synth pop songs via email correspondence, all the while juggling it with their day jobs and their family life.

After the Gold Rush Party is a power pop explosion, the duo uses hooks and melodies that could instantly entice the average listener to bob their heads. Every song is filled with charm and wit, lacquered with a thick finishing touch of reverb that gives it an otherworldly dose of chill.

Husbands dips across several genres. Opener “Cherries” and “Manhorse” are power-pop tunes with a slight tinge of grit and grounded in a Weezer-like realism. “Culebra” has an infectious melody that can make you drop whatever you’re doing to sing and dance along. The lead single “Mexico” is an 80’s surf pop fantasy, following two characters in an escape to a beach house where nothing can go wrong. It’s chorus is a nostalgic Beach Boys-like doo-wop that reminds us of the best days of our lives. 

Despite its charm, this album is also filled with introspective numbers. “3AM” is a dreamy  breakup song filled with nostalgia and regret, with a chorus-filled guitar solo that plucks at the heartstrings. “Speed Racer” is a surreal journey of glistening textures rushing through a motorik highway. It starts with the line “Where have the punks gone?”, meditating on adult life and how we all integrate into society just to survive. 

Norton and Davis have very demanding 9-5 jobs, with each working as an attorney and software engineer respectively. Their songs look fondly back to the fun and carefree times of their youth, adapting the punk and synth pop aesthetics of those years. The later parts of the albums are themed with the struggle to flip back and forth between their creative work with their day jobs. “Piggy” reflects on the everyday grind, with a droning rhythm that illustrates the mundanity of the day-to-day. “Bikini Bottoms” hones in on the idea even further. The line: “Bury my skeleton in the wood / I don’t feel rebellious, only misunderstood.” Illustrates the need to break out and get back to a more carefree time.

After the Gold Rush Party is a complete experience. Husband’s follow up to their 2015 debut “Golden Year” is a solid one, adapting a more focused theme than its predecessor. This time they’re leaving a statement, while still maintaining their fun and creative spirit.

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