Goldwyn Thandrayen, head of The Goldwyn Experiment, has a voice that reminds me of Brendon Urie mixed with Stephen Christian. He rounded up the band again to release their second album Avenue B. Avenue B is Goldwyns canvas to blend the sounds he desires on his own.
He creates a psychedelic experience while dabbling in some more boisterous stadium sounds placing the listener on an emotional playground. Each song comes from a different emotional standpoint and period of life. He explains that these stories were inspired by his times living in Scotland, Montreal, New York, and San Diego and the people he met along the way.
The first act of this project features harmonic vocals with choppy keyboard riffs and braggadocious lyrics on the track “Vodka Tea”. Goldwyn comes to terms with his flaws and embraces his lifestyle on the road, pursuing greatness. This is also the “final” song on the album according to Goldwyn, the album is a story told backwards with the final track “Queen of the Night” being the beginning. This approach is tricky but overall was executed due to the cohesiveness of the body, this adds replay value by enticing the audience to find the narrative.
The next track “Bag of Nails” is an edgy, adolescent flashback with catchy pop vocals and guitar solos inspired by Jimi Hendrix. Goldwyn said in a Facebook post that you can read here that he wrote the song after reading the Jimi Hendrix Biography. Lyrically the track is fun and memorable with a rebellious vibe. The distorted vocals added necessary layers to Goldwyns already powerful voice. The blend of punk, rock and pop sonics hit for the good majority of the album, the missteps were few.
The last track of the first act “Fast Response” is a much needed emotionally stimulating break following the stand out single and rap feature on “Sad Boy Summer”. “Fast Response” feels like a song that could have been on the latest Pychocide project, that you can stream here. However this is not a bad thing, it’s a sound that he executes well and the moody, slightly distorted and fast paced rock ballad is precisely the bag Goldwyn need to explore. He sounds comfortable on this song and he performs with extremely high energy. The energy is softened with a melodic piano and drum combination on the interlude that reset the mood and prepare you for the second act that is kicked off with the abstract “Whale Jail”
The first song of the second act titled “Whale Jail” needs to be played on repeat inside of every Hot Topic. This song really did remind me of something out of the 1987 film The Lost Boys, with the maniacal laughing, the tempo, and Goldwyns flow throughout the track. The song is goofy in the best way possible and it is a fun experimental track that doesn’t stray too far away from his comfort zone. We also must address the hilarious narrative of the song. Goldwyn is telling us a story of a married gal who is “eager to please”. He starts by saying he’s in a “whole lotta trouble” but proceeds to project their date that led to them sleeping together. The whale jail seems to be a metaphor for being trapped in this situation with a married woman and having to deny it later. He was caught in a moment of weakness and doesnt want this information to get around. Trust me Goldwyn, we’ve all been to Bear Lake and had a few too many drinks and woken up in whale jail. Deny deny deny.
Goldwyns vocals carry the song “Let it Snow” while accompanied by a powerful keyboard. He reflects on a particular cocaine-driven night alone while battling his demons. He is missing a loved one but the lyrics are metaphorical. He struggles with a loss and ends with an internal back-and-forth. With the reversed narrative in mind, the final song “Queen of the Night” adds context to the emotions on “Let it Snow”.
“Queen of the Night” is a somber love song of a woman who checks all of Goldwyns boxes and fills his voids when needed. It does not last forever and he is left feeling alone but understanding of their situation. It is a perfect closing track thanks to the pianos creating a heartbroken atmosphere and the chest-pounding third hook.
Avenue B was a refreshing take on classic styles with a diverse range. Goldwyn sounded very confident on every track, while showing growth as a musician and as a vocalist. The band experimented with different sounds but remained cohesive. Coming off of the success of Psychocide, Goldwyn allows himself to take a more personal approach on this project while still incorporating the psychedelic Rock N’ Roll that he loves. I appreciated the artistic approach he took with this album from the themes and ideas to the structure and length. The production sounded very clean and well-mixed. Avenue B is fun, nostalgic, and melodic. A perfect album to play around your friends or if you want to get lost in an adolescent dream.