ALBUM REVIEW: Dollar Signs – Hearts Of Gold

Release Date: March 12th 2021
Label: Pure Noise Records


Dollar Signs started out as a folk-punk duo just five years ago, but since then they’ve expanded out, adding three more members and incorporating distorted electric guitars, drums, brass, and keyboards into their sound.

The culmination of the last half decade of growth is their third full-length, ‘Hearts Of Gold’, the North Carolina quintet’s first album through Pure Noise Records.

A gentle piano melody segues into the album’s opening track, ‘I’m Afraid I Make Yr Depression Worse’, a track about being aware that you might not be the best boyfriend, but that you still love your partner to bits. This track sets the tone for the rest of the album, with lyrics littered with self-deprecating humour that still feel relatable.

The highlight here has to be ‘Kiss Me’ and ‘I Love You’. The former is a short blast of punk, forty seconds of pure energy, with a closing chant of “You only kiss me when I’m high / You only ever kiss me goodbye”, and segues straight into the latter, a duet between Erik Button and Dandelion MassacrePhoebe Masteller-Defiance, which feels only just gentler than the previous song, but still screams with self-deprecating humour and an energetic punk backing.

‘Sticks & Stones’ and ‘Hearts Of Gold Finale’ hark back to the band’s folk-punk roots, with the former being a stripped-back bittersweet ballad, with Button‘s acoustic guitar and vocals only being accompanied by a simple piano and glockenspiel melody. The latter emphasises the ‘punk’ part of folk-punk, with fast-paced acoustic guitar and uplifting lyrics closing the album off.

The entire time that you listen to ‘Hearts Of Gold’, no matter how many times you’ve spun it previously, you’ll spend the entire half hour smiling, laughing, and nodding your head and moshing in your bedroom, kitchen, or out in the street on your walk to your local supermarket. All of these actions will come completely involuntarily, the energetic punk instrumentals pair with the humorous-yet-relatable lyrics will make these actions automatic.