Aberdeen quartet Cold Years release ‘Life With A View,‘ the latest track to be lifted from the band’s highly anticipated debut album, Paradise.
“I wrote this song when I was in a really bad place, and it essentially is a piece of advice,” says frontman Ross Gordon. “‘Don’t spend time with people, in places you don’t want to be, doing things you don’t want to do’. I wasted far too many years accepting misery as a reality and this song was a bit of a F**k You to that. It was an important lesson for me and it really taught me to value every second of life and to be thankful just even to be alive. I cut a lot of negativity out of my life, and maybe yeah I’ll admit there’s still a bit to work on, it’s a journey and this song is my guidebook on how to get through it.”
As the true sound of worldwide youth disaffection post-Trump and post-Brexit, the songs of Paradise – a sarcastic snarl aimed at the band’s remote hometown – burst from the speakers with a ‘clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose’ spirit. Spring-boarding off timelessly vintage-tinged sounds and fuelled by lung-busting choruses buffed-up through a modern-day, blue-collar punk rock sheen, Paradise captures the anger and frustration vocalist Ross Gordon feels for a generation in decline.
Echoing the infamous, despairing “it’s crap being Scottish” rant made by protagonist Renton in Irvine Welsh’s 1993 novel, Trainspotting, Cold Years frontman Ross Gordon’s near-nihilistic take on the town where he was born goes further still, almost three decades and a generation later. Rather than succumb to the pitfalls that laid waste to previous generations, however, he poured all of his grievances into his band’s debut showcase, Paradise – 13 songs of passion and belief that unapologetically breathe the redemptive fire of rock’n’roll.
“There’s an ongoing narrative about how terrible everything is at the moment,” Gordon says of the thread that ties otherwise disparate themes together. “It links everything, really, not just purely politics: It’s linked to the economy, to drugs and alcohol, and what our generation is going through right now. You work hard in school, you train for your career and you try to succeed at it, but the reality is that none of it really matters. It’s a record that’s angry because, as a generation, we feel like we’ve been sold short.”
Naturally, the creation of an album instilled with such an inflamed sense of injustice didn’t come without its difficulties. It was a challenging process that often tested the collective patience of the quartet, completed by guitarist Finlay Urquhart, bassist Louis Craighead, and drummer Fraser Allan. But such was the passion that each member invested into it, paired with an indomitable spirit, that the band has made good on the past few years of promise. Rather than rushing out a record for the sake of expediency, taking time to reflect, be honest, and pour everything the band had into the process has made for a set of songs that will endure and stand the Scots in admirable stead. After all, you only get one shot at making your first album, so you better make it the best it can be.
Considering the unforgiving, harsh, and often dismal depths from which Paradise was born, it’s an album that strives for optimism, and Cold Years know who they are and staying true to their roots. And despite a journey ahead that promises to send them far and wide, they won’t ever forget where they came from even if it is rubbish.
Find out more here about what they are up to here: https://www.facebook.com/coldyearsband/