The last few albums from Godfathers, I think it’s fair to say were absolute belters. Mainstay Godfather Peter Coyne assembled some fine musicians to hold high the legacy worthy of the band’s rich tapestry and history. Post pandemic and it all changed with a fresh raft of Godfathers to carry forward the sound and fury. Two former Heavy Drapes Billy Duncanson (drums) and Richie Simpson (guitar) alongside former Damned bass player Jon Priestley with guitarist Wayne Vermaak from The Great St Louis completing the lineup for this album.
Written and recorded during the course of the Covid pandemic, the album was produced by The Godfathers’ bassist (and former Damned member) Jon Priestley giving it a glossy yet unfussy production leaving the songs room to breathe and punch their weight. A new band can offer a new lease of life for bands who’ve existed for several decades not necessarily changing the direction but shifting lanes if you like and this is no exception. Adding an exciting, darker tone to the catalogue. ‘OCD’ borrows a riff and then proceeds to shake the foundations with a rock-solid tour de force. The chorus is simple and will get the heart rate up during live performances.
Coyne has said previously that you don’t have to like the artist to appreciate the art and constantly rotating the musicians might not endear him to many but you can’t deny the guy employs some fantastic players who buy into the music and from ‘Big Bad Beautiful Noise’, ‘Jukebox Fury’ and the superb live album ‘This Is War!’ the players brought the best out of Coyne and the tunes and I’m happy to report that this album follows suit with some very good songs being elevated by a band who gets the MO and buys into the attitude and delivers exactly what The name Godfathers legacy deserves.
‘Bring On The Sunshine’ eases you in rather than beating you over the head with volume and attack its got a cool effortless feel-good about it which is strange for Godfathers as I often feel like picking up a brick and launching it through a window but the chorus and the layers of BV’s works a treat. ‘You Gotta Wait’ is more like it from the power chords to Coyne’s spoken delivery this is what I was expecting. the chorus again is infectious before motoring back into the vverse. The rhythm is rock solid and powers the song leaving space for the guitars to weave an excellent tune.
Song titles like ‘I Hate The 21st Century’ is more like it and the jolting Clash-like melody twists towards the gang vocals that again add a texture that isn’t something I was expecting but works really well giving the song a commercial edge and a really good break down. ‘Midnight Rider’ has an arrangement and delivery that could be Iggy ‘Bla Bla Bla’ period or Bowie’s ‘Lodger’ even. Love those subtle backing vocals – whoo whoos! are always a winner. This is a commercial songwriting edge I wasn’t really expecting and am pleasantly surprised with it. The restraint shown on the playing is really good and works with the music and rather than just Rocking out (which I wouldn’t have complained about) holding back works in the song’s favour.
There is obviously a time and a place where turning the distortion up and just kicking out the jams works and that time is ‘Lay That Money Down’ where the production shines with a clear distorted guitar that hits the sweet spot whilst Billy hits that ride and drives this machine hard.
To be fair the more plays and the deeper you delve into the cuts the better this album gets. Giving some really great songs like ‘Tonight’ and the blistering ‘I’m Not Your Slave’ Hell, the acoustic ballad that is ‘There’s No Time’ is simple in its delivery and adds another texture to the flow of this record before we head into the home straight that is ‘Dead In Los Angeles’ with its brooding hazy delivery even manages something of a West coast feel to the backing vocals as the song twists and turns like the Hollywood Hills.
Closing the album is ‘I Despair’ with its Sonic Temple feel it’s a rocker that has plenty of punch from a band that is delivering throughout the album on every level. Individually these songs are as good as anything the Godfathers have delivered for the past thirty-plus years, worthy songs added to their impressive repertoire. Yet another impressive Godfathers album.
Author: Dom Daley