ALBUM REVIEW: Gold Class – It’s You

Rating8.5a2519540506_10Only 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.

Chris Familton

NEWS: Gold Class Announce Tour And Preview Stream Debut Album

Gold Class

Gold Class came out of nowhere for me with their recent single ‘Life As A Gun’. Possessing a perfectly disaffected post-punk holler and tightly-wound dynamics it set the scene for a new promising act on the local Australian scene to right the balance and provide an antidote to the indie electro soul and generic radio-friendly indie pop and rock that has been polluting the airwaves in recent years. The good news is that the whole of their debut album is as invigorating and strangely alluring as the first single. They have the tension and biting, brisk melodic choppiness that made the debut Savages LP so great. Sure you can hear their influences, it’s a rarity to hear anyone new these days where you can’t draw a line back to any clear sonic precedent. Gold Class succeed because they they don’t overdo anything. Restraint is vital, that push and pull between the bass and drums, the free-agent licence for their guitarist Evan Purdey to slash and burn one minute and get drunkenly psychedelic the next. Of course Adam Curley’s voice is the gateway drug, the lighthouse beacon that pulls you into the music. It has that stentorian quality and tone that shifts the music into a place of majesty and mystery. Gold Class – It’s You… a breath of dark, visceral, claustrophobic, euphoric and poetic fresh air.

The band have a fine run of shows coming up including appearances at BIGSOUND in Brisbane next week and some opening slots for The Fall. Below those dates you can stream their album in full ahead of it’s release tomorrow via Spunk Records.

September 8 – Black Bear Lodge (Spunk / RIN Pre-BIGSOUND party) – Brisbane – free!
September 9 – BIGSOUND @ Ric’s Bar – Brisbane
September 24 – John Curtin Hotel (supporting The Garden) – Melbourne
October 20 – The Zoo (supporting The Fall) – Brisbane
October 21 – Metro Theatre (supporting The Fall) – Sydney
October 23 – Brighton Up Bar (album launch – supports TBA) – Sydney