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Golden Rough | This Sad Paradise (Candle Records)
This Sad Paradise by the Sydney, Australia based Golden Rough finds the band deviating from the apparently Wilco / Son Volt influences of their debut, Twin Firs, and exploring the more delicate and subtle approach to the alt. Country genre undertaken by one Joe Pernice. This is no doubt as a result of the band having played an Australian tour as Pernice's backing band last year. Leader David Orwell's softly expressed, fragile vocal style, occasionally teetering on the brink of collapse and his well-crafted songs often bridge the difference between the melancholic country of Pernice's previous project, the now sadly defunct Scud Mountain Boys and the majestic pop of his more recent recordings with The Pernice Brothers. Whilst it's hard to deny the band's more obvious influences, This Sad Paradise is something of a slow-burner and David Orwell's songs clearly have depths and charms that reveal themselves over time.

Geraint Jones
CWAS #6 - Autumn 2000