In the heart of inner city Melbourne the lauded, sticky-carpeted live-music venues of the 70s and 80s are now all but ghosts. Stricken by noise curfews and gentrification and mostly now replaced by ubiquitous, yawn-inducing apartment blocks. However amidst this broad-brush demise some stoic venues remain. Saved as much by their audiences as their owners. The Totes, Evelyns and Retreats et al.
The venues that remain are even more vital now as ‘new music’ incubators. As a musical nexus between new bands and fresh ears. Spotify is yet to be able to replicate the thud of a low bass note in your stomach or that crisp clean taste of the first pour from a jug.
So all is not lost. In fact far from it. Talent is all around and pleasingly sometimes it even comes to you! Such as in the case of four lads from Melbourne who describe themselves as…
Tom Petty jamming with Teenage Fanclub.
Oh yes Americana is alive and well in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne.
Less than 12 months since Saint Jude’s wonderful breakout album, Saint Jude III, comes the twang and roll of the fabulous self-titled debut album from Cold Irons Bound.
Hitch the wagons. The Cold Irons Bound band are a coming.
Packed full of harmonies and jingle jangle guitars, this album straddles the spectrum of all things country rock. From the Byrds and Little Feat to Jackson Browne and latter day Tom Petty. Add some Drive-By Truckers and Midlake to the mix and the influences are strong and well laid out on this fine album.
Produced by Saint Jude’s Brooke Penrose at his Captain B Studios, he captures a band honed and tight from many hours of live performance.
With the opening Black Crowe-like punch of ‘We’re Right On’, the album sets off on a dusty mid-western road trip. Twin guitars intertwine beautifully throughout. The slidework is superb.
Likewise, strong drawling vocals from guitarists Mark Adams and Ben Carter, may feel more like Dodge City than Brunswick, but give each of the songs an aura of authenticity. There doesn’t appear to be any weak tracks at all. ‘Easy When You Know How’, ‘Sure Is Funny’, ‘Porchlight’ and ‘Whenever You get Home’ jump out immediately, but this album sounds like a burner and one to stand up over time.
The quality of music emanating out of Melbourne is truly breathtaking. The Cold Irons Bound band are just another fine example.
Now available on CD, MP3 and streaming, the only question to ask is, where is the vinyl??
You can catch Cold Irons Bound Album Launch at the Retreat Hotel, Brunswick on Sat 22 Oct from 7:30pm.