Formed in 2014 by a union of workmates and friends from a Melbourne bar and creative-writing course, Gold Class’ string of lean, explosive live shows culminated in It’s You – a distillation of the then-fledgling group’s wiry punk, carried by Curley’s booming baritone and themes of personal politics, sexuality and identity. The album was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and nominated for an Age award, and saw Gold Class play sold out shows across Australia and London, at local festivals Golden Plains and Splendour in The Grass, as well as international sets at SXSW, London Calling and Primavera Sound.
Such activity found its way into Drum. “We had a better sense of how we operated as four people,” says guitarist Evan Purdey. “We found we operated best having space between instruments, with peaks and valleys in the dynamic. We didn’t want to just pummel people with straight-out aggression in the set. We wanted more of an identity to each song.”
These new shades are integral to Drum. Recorded at Melbourne’s Head Gap studios and co-produced by Gareth Liddiard of The Drones, Drum sees Gold Class explore new territory in both songwriting and sonics. Opening gurner ‘Twist in the Dark’ lifts on Curley’s howl over an escalating pummel, and ‘Rose Blind’, ‘We Were Never Too Much’ and closer ‘Lux’ each hinge on the ragged marriage of new pop smarts and furious guitar squalls. But there’s a space, too – see the keening, early-morning comedown of ‘Trouble Fun’; skeletal echo of ‘Mercurian’; the gentle ebb and flow of ‘Place We Go’.