Published on June 15th, 2017 | by Mike Ainscoe0
Hannah Aldridge: ‘Gold Rush’ – album review
The American South is the place to venture for writers or musicians who want to face their fears. Apparently. A reference to Hannah Aldridge facing the demons who’ve tormented her via substance abuse, failed relationships and what’s been brilliantly described as her scars from the lashes of the bible belt.
The daughter of Muscle Shoals legend and Alabama Music Hall of Famer Walt Aldridge, you might guess there’s something in the blood, in the genes when it comes to musical outpourings of a tormented soul. An album that’s “about being self destructive” from her younger days to now, Hannah Aldridge does what writers do best, writes from experience, about what she knows, hence the dark undercurrent yet with a glimpse of silver lining in the clouds.
‘Gold Rush’ is country music with balls; country music fighting back against those who would smirk and snigger and a shock to the system that makes a statement of intent in ‘Aftermath’ (featuring producer Jordan Dean who also appears on the title track) – a belting piece of country rock to open the album. Verging on heavy country rock, not content with that, it‘s the opening chapter of the beginning of an exploration of the darker side of country.
She’s surrounded herself with musicians who aren’t content to provide a bland country backing, but add a measure of rock into the recipe. So you get ‘Dark Hearted Woman’ develops from a run of the mill type thingy into a driving bluesy thingy. While you might be expecting some ZZTop or Lynryd Skynyrd Southern rock, ‘Shouldn’t Hurt So Bad’ comes from the hands of jangly Georgian R.E.M whilst earworming but not lapsing into The Rembrandt’s ‘I’ll Be There For You’. ‘No Heart Left Behind’ could easily be a Stones riff although the drums are too chunky for Charlie W but there’s deeper darker Gothic drama in ‘Lace’ and the stripped back to the bone title track.
Honest, sometimes brutally so, defiant and stubborn: characteristics that sit at the core of the record. The underlying theme of self destruction again proves an ingredient on which you can rely to add an edge. And depth and once past the musical coating, ‘Gold Rush’ is an album that packs a lyrical punch to the guts.
Here’s the video for the first single ‘No Heart Left Behind’: