steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Golden Death Music

"Ephemera Blues" CD

Helmet Room Records

Genre: experimental pop, post-rock

London, Ontario, Canada

Dec 27, 2008

The lone work of displaced Ohio native Michael Ramey, who currently takes up residence in London, Ontario, Golden Death Music – like any bedroom project – had the potential to go either way. Fortunately, Ephemera Blues is an appealing and intriguing debut for the self-produced pop experimenter. Ramey plays moody, airy pop music, carefully adorned with electronic elements for atmospheric purposes. The result is a refreshing and spacey work, although not one you're likely to find yourself humming. Many of the record's melodies rely on limited-register vocals and slow acoustic guitar chugs, lending the release a somewhat post-rock influenced sound. Ramey's breathy voice is lent a distant, reverberating quality – kind of a compromise between L'altra and early Smog. The formula is one that often works quite well – as on cinematic “True Beauty is Emptiness,” “Morning Sun, Mourning Song,” and brief “Self Help.” There isn't much not to like on this record, and there is plenty to enjoy – however, the slow, atmospheric nature of the record might scare off less patient crowds. My only suggestion for next time would be for Ramey to get a bit riskier with his vocals. The results could be interesting.

golden death music's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by Beta-lactam Ring, released 2007]