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“Don’t get stuck inside a time when it’s rare to see a smile”

Wild Eyes Releasing May 24'

Ian MacDougall has lived many musical lives. The Texas-native spent his twenties and thirties playing guitar in the popular Denton-based act the Riverboat Gamblers, was a member of Band Of Horses for five years (including performing on their 2022 album Things Are Great) and has toured the world with everyone from the Gamblers to being a hired gun for several notable punk rock and crust bands. However, for the past 15 years, the most distilled version of his musical vision has been Broken Gold, an act that sees him turning down the distortion and stretching out as a songwriter to carefully craft a sound that has more in common with Hüsker Dü than Discharge. After releasing a handful of EPs and live recordings, the band are set to release their second full-length album Wild Eyes, a collection of songs that transcend categorization and showcase what a versatile and evolved musician MacDougall has become over the past two decades as he performed everywhere from punk squats to headlining mainstages at Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza. The constant is the honesty and vulnerability in both MacDougall’s DIY ethics and approach to music, facts that are laid bare on every note of Wild Eyes.

“A lot of these songs were written when I was playing in Band Of Horses; Ben [Bridwell] and I were working on demos and when we parted ways I was like ‘Well, I Have all these songs,’” MacDougall explains when asked about the origins of Wild Eyes. “Broken Gold was always something that I could only spend time doing when I was off from a touring job and at home—and suddenly I had a year where I could finally really focus on getting an album together after putting out a string of EPs” he continues. MacDougall, who is currently based in Austin, was eventually able to solidify the new lineup for the band—which includes bassist Bobby Daniel (Alejandro Escovedo), guitarist Ben Lance (Mountain Time) and Sam Rich (Del-Vipers, Black Books)—as well as Grammy Award-winning producer Stuart Sikes (White Stripes, Walkmen) who manned the mixing board for these sessions. “I was nervous because initially I’d only booked two days in the studio and I thought maybe we’d get two or three songs done and we knocked out the first six and really focused on those from the get-go. From there I basically started just writing songs and some songs like ‘Bad Days’ were written right before they were recorded.”

The natural chemistry of the band and lack of stress-inducing deadlines are evident in the carefree nature of the recording, which showcases the members’ technical skill while still giving the songs plenty of space to breathe. (The album’s sonic power was also aided from a stellar mastering job by Howie Weinberg, who also mastered Nirvana’s landmark 1991 album, Nevermind.) From the Westerbergian infectiousness of “Clouds” to the expertly arranged ballad “Looking Up” (which along with “Bad Days” features vocals from Escovedo) and guitar grandeur of “Be There Now,” Wild Eyes sees MacDougall moving forward musically as he takes a more expansive view of the experiences that brought him to this point in his life. That said, you don’t have to have worked a part-time job bartending on the weekends in order to relate to the

sentiment of songs like ‘Spiraling.’ “That song is about the way that as musicians, we have to find so many other ways to make ends meet,” he explains. That sentiment is also present on “Fault,” which sees MacDougall opening with the couplet: “Feeling like the living dead / The dream had died within my head.” Much of Wild Eyes is about how that dream isn’t always as glamorous as it seems, but if you look hard enough there is a beauty in the mundanity of it all.

While previous Broken Gold fan favorites like “Turning Blue” don’t sound too far removed from the songs on Wild Eyes, listening to the album as a whole there is a sense that these songs are coming from a different perspective than MacDougall has written from in the past. The stakes feel higher and with the gain backed off, there is a vulnerability to these songs that instantly gives the listener a feeling of familiarity. “With this record, I really felt like I needed to prove something,” MacDougall explains. “I feel like I had a lot to go back and write about the last decade of my life that I hadn’t done in the past. I also wanted to really invest in myself since I’m the main songwriter and singer for this band, which is a different role than I’ve had in a lot of previous projects,” he continues. “I was so busy being in other bands or working for other bands that I had no chance to catch up with myself for a long time.”

That sense of self-inquiry lies at the root of Wild Eyes and is what makes it such a powerful artistic statement. It may not sound exactly like MacDougall’s previous projects, but there’s nothing contrived or half-realized on Wild Eyes. In a world of viral singles, it’s a cohesive album that could only be created by someone who has dedicated his life to making art in an unfiltered and authentic way. We hope you enjoy listening to the album as much as Broken Gold did making it

Press photos

Photo by Dave Creaney

photo by Dave Creaney

Photo by Dave Creaney

Press / Reviews

You’ll find that they’re latest track continues to see their allegiance to Paul Westerberg grow a bit. There’s still an edge with the guitar work in the mix, but the rhythm guitar is out there running with a nice little jangle, which ultimately allows for a soaring pop vocal from singer Ian MacDougall. There’s just enough pop hear to satisfy your cravings, while not straying too far from the rock n’ roll roots of the group” - Nathan Lankford

Austin Town Hall

Broken Gold’s new single “Bad Days” is more garage rock then punk rock, but it’s also awesome as fuck. I could see them easily doing a rad tour with Bob Mould or Jeff Rosenstock. To be fair, they could do a tour with Municipal Waste, and despite dramatically different sounds, I have no doubt they could win over the thrash metal fans the same way they’ve won me over.”

DCxPC Live

Broken Gold pull heavy influence from '80s college rock and early '90s indie rock resulting in a sound that is equal parts Dramarama, Superchunk, and Dinosaur Jr. but in a way that is all their own. While this band's music has a nostalgic feel it, it doesn't sounded dated or like a retread of the past, instead it is a new fresh take on something precious and familiar. The end result is fantastic and a must.”

Oklahoma Lefty

Somehow I have to think of Morrissey and The Smiths when I hear the new Broken Gold single 'Spiraling'. It's the way frontman Ian MacDougall conveys the song. 'Spiraling' sounds more like the deepest Manchester than Texas and that's a compliment. ”

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