Over the course of the last 8 years, Orlando’s GOLDEN PELICAN’s have made a compelling case for themselves as one of the planet’s most relentlessly malevolent ensembles, both live and on record. Thankfully, however, this is not an episode of “Hot Bench” and rather than finger-pointing and tearful recriminations, I’ll offer as evidence their succession of titles for the Total Punk and Goner labels with which the quartet of vocalist Erik Grincewicz, guitarist Scott Barnes, bassist Sammy Meneses and drummer Rich Evans have reached American punk’s apex in the 2 thousand teens more than once (like goalposts, the thing moves around a bit)
On the band’s 2019 entry, ‘Grinding For Gruel’, recorded by Ryan Bell of GG King / Predator, Grinewicz’ fatalism & Barnes’ not-nearly-heralded-enough virtuosity are captured with the sort of chromatic sheen that would’ve at one time been considered unthinkable (well, before electricity was invented, anyway). Is this the finest, most fully-realized Golden Pelicans release to date? Is rock D-E-A-D? Have you ever been hit in the head with a soft rock? YOU SURE DO POSE A LOT OF INTERESTING QUESTIONS.
There are those will who well might mutter “how many Golden Pelicans records am I supposed to own, anyway?” Would you ask the same of Tangerine Dream? Nana Mouskouri? Why don’t you say it to Nana Mouskouri’s face right now and see what happens.