Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Goldilox Zone: The Future Generation of Johannesburg Musos

The weekly column on South African bands and live shows.
by Omri Ismail Cassiem
This week: The Goldilox Zone

The Goldilox Zone is an Johannesburg indie outfit. You should all know how I feel about Johannesburg indie music by now; if not… I LOVE IT! So getting back to the band: with only the slightest hint of bias, they are good. So good in fact that you forget they are all teenagers under the age of 18. Seriously, these guys have talents that surpass their years many times over, from constructing solid rhythm hooks (those are like vocal hooks you hear in pop songs but are made with the rhythm section of a band and their instruments) to pretty fun vocals and really good lead guitar. The guys really play like they have been on stage longer than One Direction… OK I’m only going to make five more age jokes so keep count!

I only mention their lack of driving licenses and access to over-the-counter liquor (1) because it is really easy to forget when you listen to their music. No I’m not talking about the love struck melodies that make young pop groups think that they seem older than they are. I’m talking about it from a different perspective entirely. They make music that is easy to listen to with aforementioned complex rhythmical hooks and, oh, I need to mention here that they have a rapper in an indie band! I would make a sexual joke here if they weren’t an all-male outfit, and if it wouldn’t get me thrown in jail. (2) In all honesty they have all the elements that make you just like their music, a rock solid rhythm section (see what I did there! Oh get yoru mind out the gutter! It was a pun on the rock bit of indie rock!) with Jarred Wood on bass, Zaki Mamdoo on a twelve string rhythm guitar and Ciaran De Chaud keeping your heart thumping with his drumming. Their leading men Jarred Wood (did I mention that he sings as well as playing bass?) on lead vocals, Eli Smith with his lead guitar and Ethan Traub, the rapper, are no slouches when it comes to their roles in the band.

All together it seems as if this band has been playing together many more years than is physically possible (3). That being said, they are still unpolished at times and they still need to build up their stage confidence a bit; maybe let Eli pull off the solo he looks capable of, or for that matter bass solos are just as interesting and Jarred seems more than capable of stepping up to the plate.

The show I managed to catch them at was their EP launch last Saturday night. Yes, these minors did something major (4) and launched an EP, which you can buy and listen to at any time you like. I would say buy it, and not only because one day your hipster points will shoot through the roof when you say you own their entire discography in disc format (sorry hipsters you can’t get this one in vinyl), but also because it addresses a real social issue that we are dealing with. And that is the issue of following ones passion vs. being able to eat this week. Wouldn’t you like to live in a world where truly gifted people used their gifts in a passionate way to make the world a better place? Where network administrators (yes I know some people who absolutely love doing this) can happily connect us and artists can express themselves freely. Accountants can help you avoid tax (not evade, avoid) to their hearts' content and teachers can tell their students to stop playing musical instruments and actually get on with their homework (5) only to be ignored to brilliant effect.

Go check them out on Facebook @The Goldilox Zone and Twitter @Goldilox_Zone