THE GOLDEN RAIL Electric Trails From Nowhere gets 9/10

The Golden Rail
Electric Trails From Nowhere
Independent

9/10

Having joined with Perth mates to write and record the Jangle Band album of last year, Jeff Baker and Ian Freeman returned to their Melbourne based outfit The Golden Rail, for yet another ‘debut’ by the seminal songwriting duo. Having built a reputation for delivering in your face pop tunes, Baker and Freeman step back a little on Electric Trails From Nowhere and harness the tones of the early 70s.

There is the familiar jangle and immediacy that you would expect form these pop veterans on Imperfectly, which has a hook that is likely to earworm you for weeks. The most political the band get is when they suggest they lifted a chord for It’s Time from the Gough Whitlam political campaign, but in reality, these are a set of songs about the matters of the heart.

Last Day Of Summer references the “no tell motel” and “two rooms in old Bassendean” to show that the pair have lost none of their lyrical prowess when creating a narrative. Blue Wedding finds Freeman delivering an uncharacteristically sombre vocal that shows his time spent scouring over records by The Apartments wasn’t wasted.

Electric Trails From Nowhere shows Freeman to be in the best vocal form of his life with Suki Garth offering perfectly placed backing vocals from behind her drum kit. Dave Chadwick plays bass like a guitarist to give the bottom end some extra strut, while Baker’s lithe playing finds him chime in with riffs and solos that form the backbone of these immaculately constructed slices of melody.

Electric Trails From Nowhere is the best record that Baker and Freeman have put their names to in over three decades of making music together. Bucking current trends to make a classic sounding record has paid dividends. The Golden Rail are the golden ticket.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

 

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