The Godfathers- Jukebox Fury (Godfathers Recordings)
The Godfathers reformed in 2009 when their 1986 classic Hit By Hit was re-released. Following personnel changes we now have the first new album from the band since 1995. For Louder Than War, Macthehack listens in.
So what’s changed in the last two decades? Er, not much it seems for The Godfathers. They’re still playing razor sharp guitar driven rock ‘n’ roll. They still sound more like a vicious 60’s garage band than musicians influenced by anything from the last thirty years. And Peter Coyne still seems to be angry about something.
All of which is perfectly fine in my book. There are hints at a more expansive – even slightly mellow – side to The Godfathers 2013 model, with the slightly psychedelic guitar flourishes of ‘If I Only Could’ and the almost reflective ‘Can Of Worms’. But even the departure of prominent use of keyboards doesn’t take the edge of Peter Coyne’s hostile snarl.
Lyrically The Godfathers may not have a lot to say – which is why their cover of Link Wray’s ‘I’m Branded’ works so well. But even if it’s fairly hackneyed, ‘going all the way home, like a rolling stone’ really is a line from ‘Back Into The Future’, it’s not what they say, but the way that they play it.
With original Sid Presley Experience guitarist Del Bartle back in the fold – a touch of their own back to the future – the music remains sparky, sharp and lean. Peter Coyne is convincing as the growling non-conformist on ‘The Outsider’ and ‘Jukebox Fury’ picks up the thread of The Godfathers back catalogue with hardly a missed step and that’s no mean feat in itself.
The psychedelic pop tinged ‘Mary Baby’ is one track that does sit a bit at odds with the rest of the album, but it’s a brave stab and perhaps shows the band are discovering the late 60’s, though I’ve a feeling we won’t be seeing Peter Coyne in a kaftan anytime soon. The other departures from the norm, range from the spaghetti western theme flavoured ‘Theme To The End Of The World’, which is made worthwhile by some lovely twangy guitar and ‘Thai Nights’, which closes the album on an off-kilter note. In the old days, it might have made a b-side.
But despite running out of steam in the last couple of tracks, all in all it’s a very respectable shift from The Godfathers. It just misses the heights as despite several stand out tracks – ‘If I Only Could’, ‘Primitive Man’ and ‘Back Into The Future’, the set just falls short of anything to match The Godfathers at their peak (I’m thinking ‘Cause I Said So’ or ‘This Damn Nation’. But that’s setting the bar pretty high. If you liked The Godfathers first time around, you’ll like them again with Jukebox Fury.
All words by macthehack. More work by macthehack on Louder Than War can be found here.