Cold Years

Goodbye To Misery

Written by: PP on 09/08/2022 17:02:13

Scotland's Cold Years used to pass as a very credible challenger to The Gaslight Anthem on their early EPs. Vocalist Ross Gordon's voice featured more gravel than your average road to a country house, and the band's punk rock ethos drew parallels to the very early material by Brian Fallon & co on records like "Sink Or Swim" or "The '59 Sound". Since then, the band has cleaned up its sound considerably and now aims directly toward a more mainstream audience on its sophomore album "Goodbye To Misery".

Let's start with Ross Gordon's pipes. His throat is decisively less coarse than in the past, to an extent where older fans like this writer wonder what happened to the awesome gruff style he sported earlier during the EPs. It gives off a less punk rock-ish vibe than might have been the case in the past, but at the same time, it means he's able to showcase his incredible range otherwise.

This approach admittedly fits better with the band's newfound desire to write more expansive soundscapes than in the past. The instrumentals frequently aim for theatrical soundscapes, or at least otherwise massive ones that echo bands like Green Day. Take "Britain Is Dead", for example. It has eerie similarities to "American Idiot"-ish era, featuring a huge, anthemic pop punk expression that's complete with a radio-friendly chorus.

Personally, I'm more in favour of tracks like "Headstone". It feels almost straight out of this year's Ann Beretta comeback album "Rise", a fiery, fast-paced punk rock track that gets in your face with fast vocals. It's ridiculously catchy and easily the best track on the record.

That said, "Jane" is a nice change of pace with another massive chorus that feels down-to-earth and honest, and allows Gordon to highlight his still-raspy voice against bright, upbeat melodies. Similarly, "Wasting Away" features a driving pace and a coarse call/response pattern that immediately underscores it as another highlight track from the album.

Elsewhere, Cold Years utilize explosive choruses, bouncy guitars, and just the right amount of edge to separate them from mainstream pop punkers. It's sufficiently unpolished to catch the attention of Midwestern punk fans, but also presents an array of sing-along melodies that should be right at home with fans of Gaslight Anthem's material in the "Handwritten"-era and thereafter.

Either way, "Goodbye To Misery" showcases a band with enormous potential to break through given the staggering amount of charisma in Ross Gordon's voice. It's a release that needs to be heard.


Download: Headstone, Wasting Away, Jane, Britain Is Dead, Never Coming Back
For the fans of: The Gaslight Anthem, Arliss Nancy, Great Apes, Colt 45, Ann Beretta, Green Day
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.04.2022
Inside Job / MNRK

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