Oil & Gold, the third full-length Shriekback studio album, is widely considered the band’s highest moment, Released in 1985 on Arista Records in UK and Europe, Australia and New Zealand and on Island Records in the United States, after 1984’s Jam Science on Arista Records, Oil & Gold saw the band metamorphose from contemplative to rocking. The addition of Martyn Barker on drums and Lu Edmonds on guitar gives many of the songs an almost punk rock feeling, although the album also features synthesizers from film soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer.
In many ways, Oil & Gold is the bridge between the old trio of Barry Andrews, Carl Marsh, and Dave Allen, and the new vehicle for Andrews alone. Longtime singer Marsh left the band after the recording, leaving Andrews to take over the vocals. Still, the album’s highlights, including the three opening songs, sung by Marsh, and the minor hit, “Nemesis”, became the band’s signature sound. The album brought them a far wider audience than they had previously enjoyed, and sold well in its U.S. release on Island Records. Both of the singles released from the album reached the Top 100 in the UK singles chart: “Nemesis” reached number 94 and “Fish Below The Ice” reached number 88.
The two songs “This Big Hush” and “Coelocanth” were featured in Michael Mann‘s 1986 film Manhunter and “Faded Flowers” was featured in Band of the Hand. “This Big Hush” was also used in season 6 episode 7 of Nip/Tuck. The song “Everything That Rises Must Converge” refers to the short story of that name by Flannery O’Connor. The video for the song “Nemesis” features the 2000 AD character Nemesis the Warlock.