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Fool's Gold

Leave No Trace (I Am Sound)

Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Sept. 16, 2011

ACL Music Fest Friday Reviews

Fool's Gold

Leave No Trace (I Am Sound)

The eponymous 2009 debut from Fool's Gold approached Afro-pop and Caribbean funk with a collective zeal, crafting a Third World dance party in a California basement. Refined into a quintet after two years of touring, the band broadens its appeal on Leave No Trace, threading the needle between the Sahara and the synth-heavy romanticism of 1980s New Wave. Joyous opener "The Dive" ensures smooth transition, bolstered tremendously by Israel-born bassist/songwriter Luke Top's shift from Hebrew to English (exception being the enchanting "Tel Aviv"). He still bears a worldly wanderlust and an affinity for Roy Orbison akin to Devotchka's, but Fool's Gold gets down, as evidenced by the skittering guitars and polyrhythmic propulsion of "Bark and Bite." Squiggly electro-funk and progressive soul in "Street Clothes" and "Narrow Sun" could pass as modern interpretations of seminal comp Nigeria Disco Funk Special: The Sound of the Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-79. (2:30pm, Austin Ventures stage)

***.5

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