'Drum' is a boisterous slab of feral post-punk that doesn't reinvent the wheel but certainly has much to offer fans of the style
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Australia’s GoldClass are a band that make no secret of their intentions. Sophomore effort ‘Drum’ is about as direct as you can get; it’s forty minutes of savage post-punk that slots neatly into the lineage of the long-running genre. While the group doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel, they do create a convincing and fiesty barrage of taut drums, crunchy bass and angular, snaking guitar. Long-term fans of the genre will certainly have a few bands brought to mind upon initial listens – the sinister cacophony of Bauhaus comes to mind as perhaps the most obvious reference point (the group’s signature rumble of studiously repetitive rhythm work and violently howled lyrics are faithfully recreated here) and early KillingJoke likewise stands as a reference point.
While the band certainly have lofty influences, they nevertheless do a very respectable job of interpreting the style. Often anthemic, frontman AdamCurley delivers his lines in striking form throughout. Much like the instrumentation, Curley certainly wears his vocal influences on his sleeve but he sings with enough gusto that that’s no real issue. Sonically, the group work within clearly defined boundaries and perhaps here is where GoldClass stumbles a little. The punchy onslaught of tom-heavy, cascading drums and metallic licks of guitar certainly doesn’t lack forthrightness but ‘Drum’s impact is dulled somewhat by a rather too uniform presentation.
Although the darkly creeping atmosphere of ‘Mercurian’ and the more subtle musicality of ‘Trouble Fun’ certainly go some way towards breaking up the album and adding a sense of variety, even here the band stick to their guns from a sonic perspective. The songs themselves are powerful enough that a lack of instrumental variety doesn’t fully scupper ‘Drum’ but both structurally and in terms of the band’s production choices, more variety would certainly have made for a more vibrant listen throughout the album’s 40 minutes.
Having said all that, Gold Class have certainly created an album with plenty to offer to dedicated fans of the style. ‘Drum’ is an album of songs performed with real gusto and passion – an important trait in any album, certainly, but a must for music as resolutely obstreperous as this. ‘Drum’ is an album that suggests GoldClass have the ability to create some genuinely great post-punk belters with a little more finesse – although the album doesn’t quite capitalise on the full potential of the band, there is much praise here nonetheless. It’s punchy, direct stuff – performed with eager enthusiasm -and those enticed by the dark, metallic spell of post-punk past and present would do well to give this a listen.