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 On "Timshel" and "Withdrawn Was the Giveaway," piano is the main chordal instrument with guitars reinforcing melodies and thickening textures.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
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more