On “Hardcore Days & Softcore Nights,” Aqueduct founder David Terry sings, “don’t
ever ask me where I’m from / in six states that’s considered dumb / because if
you start asking / I’ll pull this heat I’m packing.” It’s not clear if David
Terry is serious about pulling a gat or if he’s just really upset about hailing
from Tulsa, Oklahoma. After bouncing around the Tulsa music scene, Terry fled
Oklahoma for Seattle in 2003 and hooked up with multi-instrumentalist Andrew
Rudd. Not 12 hours after Terry’s arrival in the Emerald City, Aqueduct was
officially formed and was opening for Modest Mouse. Two years later, the band
generated a good bit of buzz when drum machine-infused “Hardcore” found its way
one of the mixes for the “The O.C.” .
Several months later, Aqueduct’s I Sold Gold has hit the shelves, and while
several songs show the promise of “Hardcore,” the album is still a bit uneven.
“Growing Up with GNR,” despite the title, is actually a song about lost love.
It’s a hook-filled, quirk-rock gem in the same vein as “Hardcore,” and I’m
guessing Guns n’ Roses frontman Axl Rose has to be feeling old having his
name-dropped like this: “I was only twelve, dammit all to hell, I was feeling
fine / hearing Axl Rose, on the radio / singing “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” “Heart
Design” is something of a ballad, with some pretty piano that carries the track
through the first minute and then reappears after a synth breakdown in the
middle of the song. From “Design” (and the rest of the album), it’s clear that
Terry is a talent on the keys.
Two more songs on the disc’s first half, “The Suggestion Box” and “Five Star
Day,” aren’t bad, but the second half of the disc meanders listlessly save for
one track, “The Tulsa Trap,” which serves as an adequate closer for the album.
The first four tracks on Gold show that Aqueduct really has something going, and
when it works, it really works, but when it doesn’t…it really doesn’t.