22 Sep 2020

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Gold Medal Famous - Album Review: Gold Medal Famous

04 Oct 2019 // A review by Paul Goddard

This is a dark way to start a review but I am sure the members of Gold Medal Famous, and especially Vorn Colgan, who has unfortunately been diagnosed with terminal cancer will understand.

After all, this is a band who defies convention and often tackle dark and disturbing subjects with brutal clarity and honesty. Just take a listen to Have You Ever Heard to get a glimpse of what I mean. It makes some lyrics from David Bowie's Lazarus from his final album Blackstar seem positively ambiguous.

The opening track is the rather cheery dreary It’s A Waste Of Time takes no prisoners with its jarring line-suicide is common especially in New Zealand. The track comes across like Art Garfunkel singing at a gathering of the Manson Family.

It’s catchy quirky and startling in equal measure and probably the stand out “song” on this album which is a collection of sound bites punctuated with occasional vocals that leaves you feeling depressed, confused and optimistic in equal measure.

1st Waltz is another that grabbed my attention and is akin to listening to nails being dragged down a chalkboard while someone is strumming a lullaby.

This is uneasy listening and I must admit that around half way through enduring the kind of sonic noodling that saw Radiohead lose half its fan base, I had largely given up.

I like a challenge though, so went back for a second and third listen until I ended up feeling decidedly down and a little disorientated. My advice is turn the volume up and use this album sparingly. Do not take more than the recommended dose or there could be side effects.

There is always a need for bands like Gold Medal Famous who simply dare to be different and do the unexpected, screwing with any musical conventions.

Gold Medal Famous may be a swan song for a band that never played the game and are all the better for doing that. It is a glimpse into the collective minds of people who refused to let their music be categorised.

Do yourself a favour and listen to the band who got famous for not being famous in NZ. They will be missed but have a legacy that will live on.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Gold Medal Famous

Gold Medal Famous is a three-piece genre fluid electropop act founded in Wellington in 2008. Known for their captivating live performances, complete with intense audience interaction and comedic stunts, you might love or hate them, but you won’t forget what you’ve seen.

Signed to Auckland indie label Powertool Records, Gold Medal Famous will be releasing their sixth album Activity on May 27 2017.

Gold Medal Famous are prolific recorders with 28 releases available on their own Bandcamp page in addition to their releases on Powertool.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Gold Medal Famous


Five Track
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Gold Medal Famous
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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