Sub Pop Records 
Fire Note Says: Beachwood Sparks return with a warm and timeless sound that after an 11 year break is truly welcomed!
11 years is ages ago in the music scene but that is how long it has been since we have heard from the Beachwood Sparks. Tarnished Gold represents the groups third long player and once again offers up their timeless late '60s and early '70s rich layered harmonies and laid back breezy vibes. On their earlier records the band played an Americana style that was blended in with more trippier moments that drove their indie stock up. What you find on Tarnished Gold is the reunited band much more grounded with their presentation but the quality is maintained here at a high level.
Even though each song on Tarnished Gold has a very laid back California vibe the songs are musically tight as not only are all the original members here but the record also gets a boost from Ben Knight (The Tyde), Neal Casal (Ryan Adams), Dan Horne on pedal steel, Jen Cohen (singer Chris Gunst's wife), first Sparks drummer Jimi Hey, Darren Rademaker (singer Brent Rademaker's brother) and indie critic favorite Ariel Pink. The group even had the producer of the critically praised Once We Were Trees , Thom Monahan, return to man the boards. This collection of talented musicians adds to the depth of Tarnished Gold and keeps its replay value high.
"This goes out to my good friends" roll off in the background which is the perfect set up for its good vibe feeling that is a perfect song for rolling down the highway with your windows down as the sun starts to set. This is the emotional trigger that Tarnished Gold hits again and again that even includes the Spanish track "No Queremos Oro" which adds a little mariachi to the mix.
Tarnished Gold absolutely does not try hard to succeed which is its biggest asset. The Beachwood Sparks do not attempt to relive or recreate their past glories but make a record that fits where they are today. That current creative momentum finds the band in a very lyrical rich spot that also highlights their musical talent as well as the connectivity that still exists between the members even after a lengthy hiatus. Not sure if the band will continue on after Tarnished Gold but if nothing else happens this album will carry them another 11 years - let's just really hope that is not the case!
Key Tracks: "Sparks Fly Again", "Earl Jean", "Forget The Song"
Bands With Similar Fire:
The Flying Burrito Brothers
Monsters Of Folk
Beachwood Sparks Website
Sub Pop Records
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony