Midlands favourites God Damn have been playing remarkably loud sludge-rock around the UK for a few years now, and One Little Indian have decided that the band are worthy of the release of Vultures, their debut. A really grimy, pained sound, nailed to tunes that stick. Thirteen tracks, stretching all the way from the fast’n’heavy to the slow’n’heavy parts of what God Damn do.
7/10 Robin Staff review, 07 May 2015
I know they’re supposed to be sick stoner metal dudes, but every time I listen to God Damn I feel obliged to invent a new genre for them: pirate emo. God Damn are a little too fast and excitable with their ideas to sound like a proper stoner band, and their rhythms are too bouncy, as if they’ve masted a sail and the wind’s come on stronger than they expected. The riffs are still steadfastly metal, of course, but the way they scream makes me feel like they’re setting a course. A course for rawk.
‘Vultures’ picks up where old 7” ‘Shoe Prints In The Dust’ left off, offering clattering and overbearingly loud production but an almost disastrously precise sound too. “When The Wind Blows” recalls prog-rock force Dredg with the plaintive, distantly recorded refrain and processed vocals buoying the more forceful current of angsty metal coming in the verses. “Maladie Melodie” has vocals with all the metal twang you could ever ask for, the vowels so slurred you feel like you could be listening to a pantomime Nirvana. The skramz are quite fantastic, managing to reroute the song’s almost alt-rock sound into something far more callous.
It’s the moments when God Damn become unhinged and hateful that suit them best, but there’s too much here that could endear them to fans of any mildly angsty Reading Fest sub-headliner. Their grungy riffs often bounce back into tunes less devotional to noise rock and more about Kurt Cobain and Nine Inch Nails -- hello to the melodies and growls of “We Don’t Like You”, in this case. A compelling record, but I expect 50% more anarchy from pirates.
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- Vultures by God Damn
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