Godsticks — Spiral Vendetta
(Godsticks 002, 2010, CD)
by Alan K. Lipton, Published 2011-06-01Beginning with the obvious, Darran Charles, Godsticks' singer and principal songwriter, wants to be Adrian Belew. His high tenor perfectly mimics those eccentric, fluid melodies with emphasis through rhythmic repetition and uphill slides to the high notes. Also, this band uses the tempo and keyboard approach of UK's song "In the Dead of Night" as a rhythmic touchstone, paying similar homage to Bill Bruford's Feels Good to Me album. That said... Godsticks is a power trio of Charles (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Steve Roberts (drums, keyboards) and Bryan Beller (bass). They delight in aggressive, tricky meters, most notably on "Unnerving Allure," "Put Seven in Bold" and the polyrhythmic "R.R.R." While Charles' doubled voice and Roberts' many-armed drumming prompt obvious King Crimson comparisons, Godsticks distinguishes itself with keyboards. On "Timshel" and "Withdrawn Was the Giveaway," piano is the main chordal instrument with guitars reinforcing melodies and thickening textures. "Traverse," with the most affirmative lyrical message amidst songs about confusing personal relationships, features strong, expressive piano atop a supportive rhythm section. And "The Continuation of Livid," the only instrumental track, is a furious showcase for the dynamic guitar-keyboard interplay so rare in virtuoso bands that spotlight soloing. "Unravel" ends things quietly with acoustic guitars, bass and doubled voices musing about the end of romance. Even if you're prepared to dislike an album that wears its influences a little too proudly on its sleeve, Spiral Vendetta wears down your objections. What Godsticks does here can't be easy, and they do it extremely well.
Related artist(s): Godsticks
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more