God Damn


Written by: BV on 30/11/2015 12:16:51

We’re gradually nearing the end of the year, so as per usual it seems only fitting to begin tying up loosed ends. One such loose end is the British duo God Damn, a duo now known for intensely loud live shows fueled by an on-stage energy and a presence allegedly rivaled by only a select few. I’ve seen them myself, and have to admit almost regretting my neglect when I forgot my earplugs at home as my hearing was properly smashed after their intense set. How do they fare on record then? Well, I’m excruciatingly late to the game, but I’ll try adding my thoughts nonetheless.

There is always, in my opinion, a vast difference between what a duo sounds like live and in the studio as most outfits tend to fall into the never-ending pit of overdubs, thus releasing a musical product they could never quite live up to in a live setting. Given my position of having seen them live before listening to their album, my concern is quite the other way around – overdubs can be there in abundance for all I care, as my key concern is whether or not the band has managed to transfer their signature presence and attitude into their songwriting.

“When the Wind Blows” is an indicator of the band having transferred their loudness into the studio at the very least, as the song maniacally blasts from my speakers at what seems like deafening volume even when I attempt turning down the stereo a wee notch or two. It’s a mixing and mastering job done right, when it comes to this particular band as they seem like the sort of blokes you’d have a hard time avoiding if they really try to grab your attention. So far, it’s working.

“Shoeprints” embeds melody into the utter chaos, as well as an overall sense of careful crafting of the guitar tone. It’s strange to be exposed to such a juxtaposition of two quite different areas of music – rambunctious energy and careful craftsmanship, but it is entirely welcome nonetheless. In spite of the vitality oozing from “Shoeprints”, making it a highlight in its own right, I still feel like something is missing from God Damn’s debut album. I don’t if what I yearn for can actually be accomplished without me arguing against myself, but in all honestly I’d just love more variation. Sure, sonic attacks are fucking cool and they’re what make songs like “Silver Spooned”, “Shoeprints”, “By the Wayside” and “Vultures” so god damn cool. But when all is said and done, it almost pains me to admit that I have found myself getting bored towards the end, eventually thinking; “cool noise, man. What else have you got?” – Which is very far from what I actually want to think of the band’s output, if that makes any sense. In any case, “Vultures” is a solid debut but, for me, it doesn’t quite become more than that. I’d take them in the live setting over the studio any day, it seems.


Download: Vultures, Shoeprints, Silver Spooned
For the fans of: Royal Blood, The Black Keys, The White Stripes
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.05.2015
Little Indian Records

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