Having graced stages nationwide since late-2014, with a fan base that has grown rapidly since, Aberdonians Cold Years finally release their highly-anticipated debut ‘Paradise’ amidst a backdrop of uncertainty.
Frontman Ross Gordon’s gravelled howl results from world-weary outlook, and reflects the the state of the world in which he finds himself in. Despite his relative youth, his lyrics largely follow a pessimistic view (the album’s opening line is “what are we here for?”), but the overwhelming message which comes across is one which is merely seeking redemption. Taking cues from his heroes Bruce Springsteen and Brian Fallon, it is clear that there are far fewer differences between Aberdonians and the New Jersey characters they sing of than one might think.
Fallon’s influence can be heard in more than the lyrics as his band The Gaslight Anthem are the clearest musical touchstones. The powerful, urgent guitars, led by lead guitarist Finlay Urquhart, which permeate the record, are most evident on ‘Breathe’, as the perfectly complement Gordon lamenting his lack of faith in humanity as he sings “I never trusted anyone, I had no reason to”.
While ‘Paradise’ threatens to turn formulaic on occasion - the plight of the straight white male has been covered numerous times before - Cold Years always manage to throw another trick, be it a rousing chorus (‘62’ being fine example), thundering drum fill or electrifying riff, to keep things interesting.
The Granite City rockers have gone through various stages of personal turmoil in getting to the point of releasing this, their long-awaited debut, but their suffering has borne an album to be immensely proud of.
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