- Released: March 7, 2005
- Label: 4AD
Uncut - p.1124 stars out of 5
- "[A]t the heart of the maelstrom you still find Hersh's compelling, convulsive wit..."
Alternative Press - p.1323 out of 5
- "[They] dropkick contemporary punk rockers to the pavement with a debut album that's equally indebted to clattering noiseniks and punk thrashers."
Magnet - p.96
"GOLDEN OCEAN is violent, seething and uncompromising....GOLDEN OCEAN lays bear Hersh's debt to the fire and fury of the '90s underground while also revealing the unsung role she played in its creation."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1033 stars out of 5
- "Intricate axe work and rhythmic complexity are out, replaced by raw distortion, a blood-thick bottom end and urgent, muscular drumming..."
- 1.Long Painting
- 2.Bone China
- 4.Clara Bow
- 6.Dog Days
- 7.Sally Is A Girl
- 8.El Dorado
- 9.Ginger Park
- 11.Golden Ocean
Apparently, Kristin Hersh didn't get the memo that thirtysomething mothers of four with 20 years' worth of great albums behind them are supposed to mellow out, coast on their reputations, maybe record a collection of covers, and then fade away. The erstwhile Throwing Muses leader and indie-pop icon has never followed anything but her own inner guidance, and here she has produced an album that demolishes her previous formulas.
Doffing the haunting acoustic music of her solo work, her new band, 50 Foot Wave--Hersh on guitar and vocals, ex-Muse bassist Bernard Georges, and Rob Ahlers on drums--has adopted a lean, rabid, punk-metal sound with stuttering rhythms, ear-shattering guitars, and an unrelentingly dark mood. Tight and focused, the songs seethe within a somewhat limited palette, but flash and twist in a variety of subtle ways. "Sally Is a Girl" is a revved-up ballad with an intoxicating melody, the classic rock riffs of "El Dorado" frame a surprisingly poignant love song, and the title track is a blistering indictment of the Los Angeles lifestyle. Three of these songs ("Long Painting," "Clara Bow," and the sad "Dog Days") were released on an EP in 2004, but have been re-recorded for GOLDEN OCEAN.