Review: Austin Gold – Those City Lights
TMR Rock Records (November 4th, 2022)
Reviewer: Chris O’Connor
After a three-year absence, UK rockers Austin Gold is back with their third studio album and rather splendid it is too. If you love Hard Rock with big guitars, smooth keyboards, and impassioned vocals – then this is the album for you. Now, from the off, we should address the elephant in the room (or so to speak), and that is this – Austin Gold sound more than a little similar to the mighty Foo Fighters – there is simply no getting around this. So, as long as you are good with that, then you will love this album.
Vocalist David James Smith has a very fine voice, but again, it is spookily close to the Foo’s main-man Dave Grohl, and you can’t pretend otherwise, that being said, I wish I could sing like that! The band really does know how to pen classy songs too, they seem to effortlessly create ‘earworms’, as pretty much every song offered up here is special in one form or another, this album really has ‘got it all going on’.
The band is a quartet, aside from the aforementioned David James Smith, who is also the guitarist as well as being vocalist, the line-up is rounded out by Adam Leon on keyboards, Lee Churchill on bass guitars, and Chris Ogden on drums, and they are terrifically accomplished musicians, truly adept at creating emotionally charged songs, with intelligently crafted lyrics, you really have to admire them for their craft.
The songs are terrific, my personal favourite is the hugely powerful ‘Morning Light’, which by rights should be a monster hit. ‘Never End’ is a supercharged shot of stadium rock greatness, while ‘Cut & Run’ is the song Dave Grohl and The Foo’s wish they’d written – honestly, it’s simply that good! ‘Invincible’ is another air-punching anthem, while lead-off single ‘Mountain’ has a swaggering rhythm and yet another huge chorus.
‘Days’ is a slow burner that begins subtly before reaching a raucous crescendo, while the title track is gently elegant and wistful, ending the album in serene style. ‘Those City Lights’ is the sound of a band maturing in wonderful style, it’s powerful without being overblown, and yet delicate without sounding weak or poppy. If there is any such thing as natural justice, then Austin Gold will soon reap the benefits of their labours, and it would be hugely well deserved. Don’t miss out on this jewel of an album, because you will regret it if you do.