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Someone once suggested that post-punk was “Less a genre of music than a space of possibility”. And that idea is particularly true of Melbourne’s Gold Class, whose debut album It’s You is heavy with atmosphere that lurks in the pauses of a pared back sound. Laden with the implications of what is left unsaid and unplayed, this is music that goes deeper than just its sound.
Gold Class are in a league of their own with their impressive debut album It’s You. With stark vocals and urgent bass it shows off the best of post-punk.
With a classic four piece line up, Gold Class are easily comparable to post-punk pioneers like Joy Division and Public Image. Complete with heavy melodies, sparing percussion and the dark timbre of frontman Adam Curley’s voice which resonates with the same blunted vastness that echoes throughout Morrissey records and is so reminiscent of the tragic figure that was Ian Curtis.
There are undeniable parallels, but as a whole Gold Class’ sound stops just short of being a dull regurgitation. Running a sense of urgency underneath a pose of apathy, they bring a vibrancy to tracks like lead single Life as a Gun and Perverts. It’s You bristles with far more alert energy than the band’s influences, even if they do exude the same beautiful pessimism.
Governed by democracy, Gold Class write by committee – in a little room – with each member contributing his own parts to form the whole. An unusual feat for a musical outfit, but one that results in music that is particularly free of any inherent egotism. Elements shift and reassemble around each other; bass lines sit unusually forward but step back to give a guitar lick breathing space.
Curley’s vibrating vocals are rationed out, leaving openings for clipped percussive beats to jump forward with fills and changes of pace – particularly evident in lower tracks like Half Moon Over. According to Curley, the band’s method of writing is “A recipe for tantrums”. But in something like an old school version of group therapy, it’s seems that any issues were worked out in that little room and the band emerged with ten beautifully balanced tracks.
Lyrically, Gold Class are more than able to hold their own. Formed by guitarist Evan James Purdey with fellow creative-writing students Curley and Mark Hewitt on drums, fourth member Jon Shub with his home-made bass, joined after meeting Purdey on late night bar shifts. But those literary beginnings definitely come through in poetic lyrics that convey a melancholy which Morrissey himself wouldn’t sniff at. Words that are sometimes lost in the blur of Curley’s expansive, dreary vocals, but then jump out with startling clarity like the opening lyrics to Perverts; “Perverts waiting in the shadows / Show me yours, I’ll show you mine”.
Formed quickly, Gold Class seem intent on the retaining that fast paced momentum. Launching live shows merely months after forming, It’s You was recorded over a short four days with producer Simon Grounds (Twerps). Intended as a document of the initial live set, written quickly and committed to tape equally swiftly, this debut album is the opening statement from Gold Class as a band.
It’s You is an interesting beginning for the group; throwing it out in the open and moving on, rather than honing their output over unnecessary, painstaking months. A hopeful promise that they will live up to their name, with exciting evolutions from Gold Class.
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