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“The most important thing about any record is the first note—it sets the tone and balance for everything that’s about to come,” says Golden guitarist Alex Minoff. And although the sludgy opening power chord of his band’s new album, Super Golden Original Movement, is no indication, you pretty much have to take his word for it when he says he’s recently been on a strict musical diet of Don Caballero, Captain Beefheart, Fleetwood Mac, and assorted West African music from the ’70s. The album—newly out on Slowdime—plods, meanders, pushes, and shoves its way through eight loose instrumental tracks of what Minoff dubs “rhythm-beat jazz.” Golden has become something of a side project for its members, who met at Oberlin College before moving to D.C. in 1997, and is as scattered as its musical influences: Minoff doubles as guitarist for Six Finger Satellite, Philip Manley fronts Trans Am, Jon Theodore has done stints drumming with Royal Trux, and Ian Eagleson is pursuing a master’s degree in ethnomusicology. The eclecticism merges on the closing track, “Hinsdale,” a percussive number influenced in equal parts by Isaac Hayes and Shellac. “As far as I know, Golden is the first-ever rock band to incorporate the nyatiti,” Minoff says, referring to the eight-string Kenyan gourd harp Eagleson plays on “Hinsdale” and two other songs. “The instrument kind of has limited tonal potential—it’s so straight-ahead and repetitive, yet it’s really unruly when you try to amplify it. It seemed like the perfect instrument for rock music.”—Colin Bane