The Golden Ball: The Antique Barking…

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By: Chris Pacifico

Few bands play together like a family. And when I say family, I’m not only talking about instrumental dexterity but also a peculiar harmonic and melodious unison. Some names that come to mind are Sly and the Family Stone, It’s a Beautiful Day, The Incredible String Band, Rotary Connection, Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band and more recently the Arcade Fire and Philadelphia’s The Golden Ball.

The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn (Honeymoon Music) has done to freak folk what Bob Dylan’s Bringing it All Back Home did to folk. The Golden Ball give folk a gentle but swift kick in the ass. With an electrified array of sonic innards they intertwine with pastoral monographs similar to Belle & Sebastian or a rickety fuzz evocative of early Jefferson Airplane. Singer David Chadwick leads the call and response harmonies like a kooky court jester from an undiscovered Lewis Carroll novel.

An oddball melody and gypsy space pop add vigor to “Signature Abstract,” also enlivened by a twinkling campfire chorus and enough of timeless cowbell to make Christopher Walken proud. “Stowaway Discovery” is a gusty whirl of saccharine reverb while the lysergic carousel dub of “Mermaid in Marmalade” sees Chadwick’s voice carried from a state of enlightenment to an old town crier’s bellow.

The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn is a delightful treat for those looking to expand their mind in a Zen state that is peppy and refreshing.

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