You may or may not have heard of Dollar Signs; however, Hearts of Gold is the Charlotte, N.C. band’s third album. It’s their first for Pure Noise Records and is ready to be shared with the world.
This album comes with a warning not to dismiss Dollar Signs as just another comedy band. “Comedy is a defense mechanism,” said frontperson Erik Button. “Sometimes we get labeled as a comedy band, but I use comedy as a tool so I can say shit that really matters to me.” At first glance, with song titles like ‘I’m Afraid I Make Yr Depression Worse’, you can be forgiven for thinking that it might actually be a deep album. In actual fact, it’s neither profound nor comedic, and yet is both those things all at the same time.
The album is full of juxtapositions, and this is emphasized by downbeat songs immediately followed by upbeat ones. This is apparent on occasions like the flawless transition between ‘Fistfight’ and ‘Nihilist Gundam’. One minute you’re laying on the floor watching the night sky; the next minute, you’re up and dancing!
There is an excellent level of musicianship and even the odd guitar solo thrown in just in case you doubted their musical ability. Nearly every track stands out on its own and has appeal, even the quick short sharp shock of ‘Kiss Me’ that’s 43 seconds of punk angst. So it’s hard to pick a favorite. In fact, we refuse to, so you are just going to have to listen to the whole album.
The album closes with the aptly named ‘Hearts of Gold FInale’ telling us “it’s not over till it’s over” and “You’re invincible until the day you die.” Whether they are words to live by or not, who knows? What we do know is that even if you had never heard of Dollar Signs before, you can get into this album.
Hearts of Gold takes depressing subjects and gives them an injection of boozy punk rock flare. WIth witty yet insightful lyrics that hat teaches us lessons like “Bad news goes down better with a beer!” If you do not take yourself too seriously and can enjoy music that doesn’t take itself too seriously either, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. It certainly makes some statements about the time we live in and that there’s hope for all of us.