When it comes to full-tilt, in-your-face, breathtaking, pure rock n roll, then there are few bands that can boast a back catalogue of songs like The Godfathers. The adrenaline fuelled energy of past glories such as "Birth, School, Work, Death", "I Want Everything" and "Cause I Said So" (amongst a glut of others) are forever etched into the memory of any true lover of what some would call "alternative" music…I prefer just to simply call it quality rock n roll. But a new album from a seminal band can often be a disappointment, the passing of time eroding the muse that inspired in the first place, and so it was that I approached "A Big Bad Beautiful Noise" with some trepidation. The Godfathers are a band that mean something to me, and no one likes to see a top rider flogging a dead horse do they? But hey! Guess what?! Peter Coyne and his newly assembled Godfathers didn't go away! They've returned here with an album that snarls and soothes in all the right places, and sits proudly alongside their other seminal releases.
It's like they never went away! Opening title track "A Big Bad Beautiful Noise" doesn't ease you in gently, oh no, it drops the listener straight into a maelstrom of controlled intensity, it rattles along on a typically simple psyched out bass riff, alongside succinct overdriven guitar and is the clarion call for what is about to follow.
When this band played live, you know that they meant it. There were never any airs and graces. On stage I've seen anger, aggression, but I've seen all of that harnessed into a vital rock n roll show. On this album, the raw, almost "live" feel of "Birth, School, Work, Death" has been recaptured and you know they STILL mean it!
Have they matured as songwriters? Not really you'll be glad to know! They always knew how to write a great song in the first place - that's why their past legacy has always been held in such high esteem and why even todays bands will cite them as an essential influence. What is heartening here is that they still 'have it', whatever that is!
So you'll have great guitar 'pop' tunes like the new single "You Don't Love Me", sitting alongside a slab of pure intensity like "Defibrillator", and it all works beautifully. In terms of a review it would be so easy to go through this album, track by track and hit by hit, and describe each song, but that's never going to do these songs justice. But if you love the Godfathers then take it as read that you'll love "A Big Bad Beautiful Noise".
Some may claim this is a "return to form" - that's nonsense! The Godfathers were never out of form! In the live setting, they were never anything less than essential. On the recording front they were never what you'd call prolific. What they released though was always high quality, high energy, top notch rock n roll. On this new album, nothing's changed. They're still doing what they do, they're still producing the proverbial goods. It's what they do. Still vital. Still valid. Still kicking down doors. Viva La Rock n Roll indeed!
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