Only emerging from the Melbourne scene earlier this year, Gold Class’ art is seemingly fully formed; from the artwork to their visual aesthetic and musical take on the brittle and dynamic world of post-punk. To do so in the contemporary climate where the album doesn’t hold the same cultural and economic cache it once did is an admirable approach. There were no early singles showing a band with a glimmer of promise, no stream of EPs acting as breadcrumb trail towards a full album. This quartet bunkered down, formed their sound and recorded It’s You before they really presented themselves publicly.
It may have been a gamble or a shrewd marketing device but it has proved to be the right move with an album as complete and cohesive as this one. Strong right across the board, the songs dig deep into the world of indie and alternative music, channeling Joy Division/early New Order, the dissonance and angles of Fugazi and shadowy splashes of Interpol and The Strokes. Their not-so-secret weapon is singer Adam Curley who has one of those unique voices, brimming with authority, drama and anger. It’s the combination of Morrissey, Ian Curtis and a hint of Julian Cope; a melancholic, bellowing baritone sound that brings the music to life. He brings a queer perspective to his song of damaged romance and frustrations with the social and political world.
The first single ‘Life As A Gun’, is their catchiest song, a nod to Sonic Youth in the guitars and in Mark Hewitt’s drumming, the frantic speed of New Order’s Stephen Morris. ‘Half Moon Over’ pulls back the clamour to reveal a funereal, moody feel with he ghost of Ian Curtis hanging heavy in the air while ‘The Soft Delay’ shakes at the noisy end of shoegaze in the vein of Swervedriver.
Gold Class wear their influences on their collective sleeve yet they’ve corralled them into their own sound. At a time where the musical landscape is overrun with psych rock and earnest electro-soul crooners a band like Gold Class are needed. The sheets of guitar, cold rhythms and that dark poetic howl are a breath of fresh air on this highly accomplished and compelling debut album.