Golden Triangle, out of Memphis but lately residing in Brooklyn, make the kind of fuzzy, female-fronted garage rock that is not exactly scarce these days. The energy level on Double Jointer (their first full-length after a string of singles and an EP on Mexican Summer) is high, and that goes a long way. Still, it’s not clear that there’s much here besides raw energy. The production values are low and many of the songs aren’t much more than a shout, a riff and a muffled Bo Diddley beat. The songs are fun in a fizzy, party-in-a-box, ephemeral way, but nowhere near as interesting as those of similarly structured (part-female, double-guitared, 1960s-inspired) Fresh & Onlys.
What sets Golden Triangle apart is a certain willingness to experiment with guitars and feedback, a la Sonic Youth (most apparent on extended closer “Arson Wells”), and a spooky, vaguely gothic overlay. “Blood and Arrow,” early on, sets the tone with horror-house keyboards, the riff reverberating in disturbing ways as the notes slide up and down the scales. “Neon Noose,” the single, is a queasy combination of driving, four-thwacking punk drums and loosely harmonized vocals. It’s like the Shirelles, woken up at 4 in the morning to sing in front of a jackhammer, a weird mix of urgency and slackness.
The album gets better as it goes along, riding a barrage of 16th notes in “Rollercoaster,” and approximating the unearthly fuzz of Michael Dracula in “The Melting Wall.” “Jinx,” last but one, is a pretty good shouter that culminates in the chorus, “This is my life so far.” As lyrics go, it’s not a revelation. But maybe it’s a hint at what’s going on here — a work in progress that sizzles with energy but lives only in the moment.
As a statement of where the band is now, Double Jointer works reasonably well. But what do they think, what do they hope for, where do they want to go? It’s not clear that they’ve even considered it.