Live Review: Gold Class, Cool Sounds, Hideous Towns, Karli White

30 November 2015 | 12:24 pm | Bradley Armstrong

"It's interesting to see the shift that the band have made aesthetically, professionally and with found popularity."

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It's a full house tonight as Gold Class crack out It's You on wax.

Opener Karli White pre-game felt like an odd billing. The dark brooding electro, while debatably having the potential to be more engaging on a personal level in a different environment, is a great piece of the puzzle. Four-piece Hideous Towns up the volume and stage lighting but unfortunately not authenticity. It's stereotypical post-punk and jangle-like dream-pop that instead of being a dream about a new lover feels more like a trip to pay an electricity bill. Vocalist Ashley Stirling sticks out like a sore thumb on stage, personifying a nihilistic Siouxsie Sioux minus the intrigue, and seemingly sings out of tune the entire set and without the reverb to cover it up. It all essentially winds up being one yawn after another.

Walking back up the stairs, the tunes are a wake up slap in the face as sextet Cool Sounds present a wall of sound, stating tonight is their first 'rock' show, with the norm being 'pop'. The music itself lies between the two, either focusing on sprawling soundscapes with intelligent, provoking lyrics, or quite accessible, concise art pop. From the baritone vocals to the sexy Lionel Richie-esque sax it's irresistible from the hips to the mind (though, nearly overshadowed by a dancing drunkard who stumbled on stage). By the time it draws to the climactic closer it's three thumbs up.

Well, the hype machine is clearly well-oiled as the room is packed(!) to welcome Gold Class. The only available place to catch a glimpse is in the stairwell. From the attention-grabbing chug of Furlong it's interesting to see the shift that the band have made aesthetically, professionally and with found popularity. What only a few months ago was considered an underground gem now seems to be seen in a different light, as the broader audience sing along to the band's every word and pull out the old smartphone video cameras. The professionalism of the band on stage, both visually and musically, feels gold class (no pun intended); they play like a band that's cut its teeth, that you'd pay a $60 ticket price for. Michael, Life As A Gun and Bite Down are a perfect way to round out the show, vocalist Adam Curley delivering a passionate and powerful performance full of classic frontman panache.

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Analytically the band could be dissected and typecast from their obvious influences. But, this is a band that is working hard and is only beginning to reap the rewards. Believe the internet.