Album Review: Gold Class – It’s You

By on Friday, 6th November 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Words by Jennifer Williams

Gold Class It's You album cover2015 provides yet another worthy entry into the post-punk revival in the form of Melbourne-based band Gold Class. Formed in 2014, Gold Class are finally introducing themselves to the world proper with their freshman release ‘It’s You’. Luckily for Gold Class, while presenting a sound that is familiar to many ears, they manage successfully to create a sound that is uniquely their own.

Gold Class frontman Adam Curley’s vocal delivery, overflowing with melancholy and grit, bears more vocal resemblance to Ian Curtis or Andrew Eldritch. When delivering lines like “You give and you take, you take what you’re given / They’re talking about the children you won’t have”, from the slow-burning ‘Michael’, you feel the warmth of his vocal like sun hitting the back of your neck in summer: soft and hot as it the heat seeps into your skin. From the stylish opening track ‘Furlong’ with its steady drum beat as the foundation and the shimmery sound of the guitars to the slow building marching rhythms of ‘Pro Crank’, there is a lot to like, even love about this record.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GjpaPVLtxk[/youtube]

Intensely energetic and incredibly catchy, ‘It’s You’ presents a sound that while it is not a total reinvention of the genre, it is not a total rehash of the ghosts of indie and punk rock past either. Curley’s passionate vocals are in perfect concert with James Purdey’s strong and consistent guitar sounds, filled out nicely by the strong rhythm section of bassist Jon Shub and drummer Mark Hewitt. There are plenty of bands that can coast on one or two “superstar” members and a few who may even be able to get away with it. Gold Class isn’t one of them. It is the totality of the combined contributions from each of the member that gives the band’s sound a sense of fullness, resonance and urgency.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL7YCHD4RDk[/youtube]

If there is any quibble to have with this record, it is the fact that I don’t think the production does justice to the music. After an initial listen, I couldn’t quite figure out if the sound should be cleaner or dirtier. On repeated listens, the production still isn’t working for me, and I figured out the answer to my initial query, it’s both. The instrumentation is strong on its own and could handle a grittier treatment. On the vocal end, I really wish the vocals were a bit cleaner. As much as I can say that this is subjective and about individual taste when you have lyrics you want and need people to hear, I can’t say that the My Bloody Valentine approach is the way to go. Vocal treatment while not nearly as severe still manages to leave a lot to be desired. When you consider the band definitely has their own worldview and lyrics to match, it would be awesome if you could actually make them out more clearly. It’s a contrast that I think this record could have benefitted from.

That said, I do appreciate a good piece of protest rock, and in an age of brain-dead pop music and meandering ‘by the numbers’ rock bands, it’s refreshing to come across a band with style and substance. ‘It’s You’ is a more than honourable effort and the more you listen, the more you appreciate the record’s nuances. The music can be hard and still possess fragile beauty and vulnerability Like Gang of Four before them, Gold Class can balance the political and still make you want to dance. Clocking in at nine tracks, the record ends somewhat abruptly. You think there might be a hidden track somewhere as soon as the last track finishes and then just realise that it’s over. The only thing to do is to press repeat and fire it up again.

8.5/10

‘It’s You’, the debut album from Gold Class, is out today on Felte Records. Watch the official video for ‘Bite Down’ from the LP below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESqoLteexAs[/youtube]

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