Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a handful of posts about JOVM’s newest mainstay act, Melbourne, Australia-based post-punk band Gold Class, an act comprised of collection of work friends, drinking buddies and classmates in a creative writing course featuring Evan James Purdey (guitar), Jon Shub (bass), Adam Curley (vocals), and Logan Gibson (drums). The Australian quartet formed back in 2014 and they quickly developed a reputation for lean and explosive live sets, which eventually culminated in their debut effort, It’s You — and with It’s You, the members of Gold Class wrote and recorded an album that paired angular and wiry post-punk with material that lyrically focused on issues of personal politics, sexuality and identity, with an unflinching frankness. Critically, the album was a massive success in Australia, with the Aussie quartet being shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and receiving an Age Award nomination.
With a rapidly growing national and international profile, the members of Gold Class found themselves playing a series of sold out shows across their homeland, and London, as well as sets at some of the world’s biggest festivals, including Golden Plains, Splendour in the Grass, London Calling, and Primavera Sound. Building upon that growing profile, Drum, the highly-anticipated follow up to It’s You is slated for release next Friday through Felte Records, and as the band’s Adam Curley explains in an artist statement about the new album,“The week we started to write Drum, my relationship ended and I was left alone in a draughty [sic] old house, which belonged to a friend of a friend. In the house, I sat around with my notebook, the quiet hours cut with news from friends and the TV; the suicides of musicians and writers I’d known and queer kids I hadn’t; the systematic abuse of vulnerable people, the constant mockery of anyone on the outs.
I knew what the purpose of the album would be when I wrote the repeated line in ‘Get Yours:’ ‘There’s none left here and all I need.’ I wanted it to be a record of defiance, a resistance to the idea of scrambling for a place at a table that wasn’t set for you. A sort of a love letter to anyone who not only can’t meet the standard but doesn’t want to. I wanted it to be a record of rage and ecstasy and endless nights and sex and dumb fun and ventures in solidarity. Not just an album of urgency and longing, but one of abandon and a reclaiming of a self beyond boundaries.
But I couldn’t avoid what was immediately happening in my life, either, that the end of my relationship had uncovered a lot of the feelings of isolation I experienced growing up. And so it turned out that the album is also personal, and I think is in conversation with queer histories of silence and evasion and transgression, which I was revisiting through the writing of James Baldwin and Cocteau. Childhood imagery kept creeping into the lyrics. Maybe I was trying to come to some peace with the past and to stand up and find some agency in the present. I suppose it was the most defiant thing I could think to do: not to write as some act of catharsis but in an attempt simply to document and claim my existence; that I am here.”
Now, while the album is fueled by the personal experiences, thoughts and emotions of the band’s primary lyricist, the album, which was co-produced by
The Drones‘ Garther Liddiard reportedly finds the band expanding upon both their sound, attempting to capture distinctly different moods and tones from its predecessor; in fact on album single “Twist In The Dark,” the band manages to evoke a complicated and somewhat contradictory array of emotions — desperate and fervent longing, the uncertainty of a relationship in which you can’t tell what your motivations are for the relationship nor can you figure out what that other person truly feels or their motivations. And the result is a tense push and pull between desire and repugnance that’s at the heart of the most dysfunctional and confusing relationships. But underneath, there’s a wistfulness towards the ridiculous, burning passions and desires of one’s youth when things seemed more simplistic and much more black and white, yes and no.
“Get Yours,” Drum’s latest single will further cement the Aussie post-punk quartet’s reputation for crafting tense and wiry post-punk based around its lyricists personal experiences and his own messy, complicated, very adult life and while the band plays with a passionate and fiery self-assuredness, the material is rooted within an urgent and uncompromising desire to live in accordance to one’s own dictates, desires and pleasures and to resist, simply by saying “I’m here and you may hate me, but I ain’t going anywhere. My life fucking matters.”
Directed by Defero Productions, the recently released video for “Get Yours” consists of slickly edited live footage of the band performing a sweaty and furious set in a dark little club as it always should be, and the video captures the explosion of lights, the fervent passion of the band playing their songs in front of people, who truly get their music.