Palm Springs, a Melbourne act renowned for dark, sombre country music, dusky vocals and lyrical honesty were represented as a single act on Saturday night. Erica Dunn represented the band, bringing a set reminisce of Chelsea Wolfe; doom folk meets the blues. One woman, armed with a guitar, held The Tote’s audience hostage, with no restraint.
Formerly known as Gold Tango, Melbourne duo Stina Tester | Cinta Masters continued the female stage domination. It’s a minimalist soundscape, just synth and drums; its pulsating, bass heavy, synth-laden goodness. There’s a buzzing, gothic, post-punk feel, delivering sounds that would put the 80s to shame – it’s a sometimes Depeche Mode feel, maybe Devo at times, but with vocal harmonies that wouldn’t be out of place in The B52s. Stina and Cinta were hypnotic – it’s great to have these guys back on the circuit.
Gold Class have to be one of the best Melbourne bands out there – there’s no denying that they’re leading the post-punk revival that we’re seeing. Their performance leaves you with no ambiguity regarding their place in the Melbourne scene – it was tight, tense, and flawless. Gold Class are known for stoic, Ian Curtis influenced vocals, driving bass and twanging guitar; confounding individual parts that combine to something dynamic and enigmatic.
The powerful vocals of Adam Curley were a new-wave deliverance, his contorted movements and imposition on the crowd cumulative to the omnipresent sound. The band treated us to new tracks, including “Kids On Fire” – if this is the sound of what’s to come, I’m excited.
Now touring the UK and Europe, Gold Class are an experience, all desolate melancholia and sobering beauty, that isn’t to be missed.