Austin Gold - Before Dark Clouds album review

UK rockers already grown on their debut

Cover art for Austin Gold - Before Dark Clouds album

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There’s something unnerving about the way these Peterborough blues rockers seem to spring fully formed from this first album. The band are based firmly along the Free/Bad Company axis, but there’s an unexpected poise and maturity on the opening tight and impressive Brand New Love, and also on the title track where they allow the song to build its own momentum.

The lyrics are personal and sometimes downbeat, and if singer David James Smith’s style is still a work in progress it won’t take long to develop. Guitarist James Cable has already carved out a niche for himself with his prog-styled flavourings. They’re not afraid to tackle a broad range of songs – too broad, maybe. They’re most confidenton the rockers, but they need to pay more attention to their ballads, some of which are a bit plain, but at least they don’t resort to fake emotion.

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.