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Gold Key - 'Panic Machine' Album Review


1. Sweet Darkness

2. Don't Sleep

3. Shallows

4. Mechanical World

5. Trick Of The Light

6. Enceladus

7. Strain

8. Fly Into The Sun

9. A Crack In The Earth

10. Human

11. Million

12. The Best Of Luck

I think it was a brave decision to open this album with the first song, 'Sweet Darkness', it’s such a full on, high quality, slab of Rock music that it had me wondering whether the band could maintain this standard throughout. Setting the bar that high that early was a really brave and bold move.

'Don’t Sleep', the second song is an all out aural assault. At this point I started to think that maybe, just maybe, this band are on to something great, possibly even the first truly essential Rock album of 2020. An album perfectly suited to these troubled and confusing times.

The question that started to appear in my mind, because I often hear things that I think can be great only to be let down as they go on, was would Gold Key be a one trick pony? Good for the all out Rock song but not much more.

The third song, 'Shallows', disabused me of that notion. It starts off almost sounding like a ballad, the kind of song that could be at home on a commercial Pop radio station but slowly and surely morphed into a monolithic full on anthem. Lighters aloft if we ever get back into venues!

'Mechanical World' is a magnificent song, perfectly capturing the alienation and confusion many of us feel in this, normally, high speed, constantly noisy and confusing world.

I was, by this point, waiting for each new song with an increasingly heightened sense of anticipation. Could it get better? All I will say is if you love Rock music that has a message, played with passion and a huge amount of skill with soaring vocals that also introduces subtlety when needed, then you will love this

'Trick Of The Light' felt like it could have first been written and performed in the heyday of Blues Rock, the early 70’s (which is obviously my opinion which you can choose to ignore) but to say it wouldn’t be out of place up against music from that time is the highest praise I can give it.

I could go through ever other song, one by one but I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you there are so many quality songs on here that I can’t recommend it highly enough. I think different people will take different things from this album. At times they feel like they are straying into Radiohead territory, at others Bad Company and at one point they even started to sound like Soundgarden to me.

Gold Key, if you don’t know them but love music that deals with how hard life can be, how we all need to find our own place in this world but that also hits you in the solar plexus like Tyson Fury when he’s on form then you really should go listen to this album through your normal method of enjoying music, I really don’t think you’ll regret it!

They have talent this band, in spades, and need to be enjoyed and appreciated. It’s not a full on assault on the senses, they slow it down, speed it up, prove they have the ability to deliver brilliant music and deliver a truly excellent album. If this is out of vinyl I will go invest in a copy.

Review - Iain McClay

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