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Godfathers - A Big Bad Beautiful Noise

  by John Clarkson

published: 17 / 3 / 2017

Godfathers - A Big Bad Beautiful Noise
Label: Godfathers' Recordings
Format: CD


Exhilarating full return-to form on eighth album from legendary alt. rock band, the Godfathers

South London-formed “rock and roll band” the Godfathers are best known for their trio of classic albums, ‘Hit by Hit’ (1986), ‘Birth, School, Work, Death’ (1988) and ‘More Songs about Love and Hate’ (1989). While all their other studio albums, ‘Unreal World’ (1990), ‘The Godfathers’ (1993), ‘Afterlife’(1995) and ‘Jukebox Fury’ (2013), have all had very fine moments, none of them have been able to quite match up to those first three albums for sheer force or belligerence. That is until now. Perhaps it is because the group’s only original member vocalist Peter Coyne has been joined by a totally new line-up - guitarists Steve Crittall and Mauro Venegas, drummer Tim James and bassist Darren Birch - for this record. Perhaps too it is because they have returned to their regular five-piece ”twin guitar” line-up for their first time on album in over twenty years, and perhaps also in the current world zeitgeist Peter Coyne has found something at last to match in volume his anger and disgust at the Thatcher era. ‘A Big Bad Beautiful Noise’, their eighth album, is the Godfathers’ best album in three decades. From the opening moments when Birch’s rumbling bass kicks in on ‘A Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ to when it closes a breathless forty minutes later with the epic ‘You and Me Against the World’, ‘A Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ crackles with energy. The opening title track – about a riot (“It is a big bad beautiful noise/And I feel so alive/I feel so alive tonight”) – literally erupts forth out of the speakers. A juddering mass of whirlwind guitars and police car sirens, it has all the urgency and sense of danger of the Stooges. The ringing power pop of ‘You Don’t Love Me’ meanwhile is a timeless tale of love gone to the bad (“I am trying all the time to get you off my mind/Because you don’t love me”). Other highlights include the poignant, punchy rockabilly blues of ‘Poor Boy’s Son’ (“Slave wages won’t pay my bills”); the sultry, brooding ‘Miss America’ which re-imagines America as a faded, malevolent ex-beauty queen (“You’re a regular beauty queen/Murder in your eyes/Coast to coast you think you are the most/Satan’s apple pie”)and dynamic, blackly hilarious dope anthem ‘Let’s Get Higher’(“See the hash burns on my clothes/Indicates the life I have chose”). In the final number, ‘You and Me Against the World’, the Godfathers have released the most sublime, tender song in their long history. Inspired initially by the Brexit vote and Britain’s impending exit from Europe, it begins as a sorrowful, melancholic ballad of loss and regret (“When the time for love is over/There is no turning back/Let’s leap into the unknown and jump into the black”). Soaring upwards, it, however, closes on a note of defiant, against-all-odds hope as Coyne acknowledges that as long as he has love he can face whatever is dropped on him by the world and conquer anything. (Let’s leave them all behind/For us there is no time/It all comes crashing down/It all comes crashing down around us/It is you and me/It is you and me against the world”). “You can drag me down, do me in but I will fight back ‘till my heart stops beating,” sings Coyne on the exuberant ‘Till My Heart Stops Beating’, the album’s second track. One half of a double A-sided 7” single in 2015, it was the first song to be recorded on ‘A Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ and serves as a metaphor for both the Godfathers and the album itself. Lyrical, versatile, restless and uncompromising, ‘A Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ is one of the stand-out albums in the Godfathers’ lengthy career.

Track Listing:-
1 A Big Bad Beautiful Noise
2 Till My Heart Stops Beating
3 You Don't Love Me
4 Poor Boy's Son
5 One Good Reason
6 Miss America
7 Defibrillator
8 She's Mine
9 Feedbacking
10 Let's Get Higher
11 You And Me Against The World

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