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Godsticks - Godsticks CD (album) cover

GODSTICKS

Godsticks

 

Crossover Prog

3.05 | 7 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another excellent crossover act to pay attention to!

This band with their debut EP really came out of nowhere to make an excellent strike at the progressive community. What we have here is a 3-piece band out of Wales with a very unique and intriguing sound, and though this EP is only the start to what should be a promising career, it really is an excellent listen time after time. Running at 22-minutes in length the disc is just about a full blown studio release anyways, and the amount of polish and effort put into the disc really separate this band from a lot of other bands attempting to hit it off.

Godsticks must have learned something in their early days as a cover band, because it is really hard to compare them to any other band. The band plays a style of music that is almost unclassifiable, it's surprisingly 'large' sounding for a 3-piece group and it has enough funk to it to make you want to dance. Still there's a heavy amount of keyboards and virtuosic musicianship to make the hardcore proggers turn their head in notice. Speed changes in some of the songs make for some spine chilling moments that will bring a smile to your face just about every time, and the unmistakable groove in many of the songs just makes you want to put them on repeat. Jason Marsh is immediately a notable player with his aggressive style of bass playing that dominates many of the tracks as ''The Fish'' once did in Yes. The intro to Puppy Gardener is an absolutely wonderful fiasco of bass playing until the rest of the band comes in. While this song is definitely the highlight of the entire disc it's not only because of the bass playing. Steve Roberts makes the skins interesting with his playing that can keep your head bobbing while Darran Charles distinct voice delivers some quirky lines and his subtle, yet effective guitar playing add yet another layer to the music.

Of course, let's not forget about the rest of these excellent tracks. Not The Face opens up the fray with a splash of keyboards before moving right into the tune. If there's one thing you really have to respect about this band it has got to be the way they are able to maneuver through concisely written tunes as though they had 20-minutes to let a song unfold. The songs are all fairly short, between 3-6 minutes each, but all the songs have enough time to develop themes and nothing ever feels like it's 'cut short'. Only When Provoked opens up with some soothing guitar reminiscent of an emotional Joe Satriani and that dominant bass which leads into the main section of the song. Excellent melodies help make this one yet another standout on the album.

The second half of the EP is a lot more 'calm', but no less impressive. Venial is a pleasing and very serene tune that has a nice little breakdown coming into the beginning of the chorus. That unmissable funk comes back full force in this song but still manages to stay subtle throughout the tune, making for a very pleasing combination of laid back and demanding - like a perfectly mixed drink. A wonderfully emotive guitar solo from Charles coming into the second half is enough to give you chills as the song slowly makes its way to the end. It ends with another calm tune in the form of Clinical which is largely reminiscent of a progressive version of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Charles makes subdued use of his voice, as he seems to know its limits well. By the time the album ends you'll no doubt be salivating for more.

It seems like there's been a lot of excellent debut EPs sprouting up all over the place. Between these guys and other acts like Mekhlin there's a very promising new progressive scene emerging that has a very unique sound that should shush all the nay-sayers who are saying that progressive music is becoming stale. Like Mekhlin this band has released an excellent and highly impressive disc with this EP, and people should really start to focus their attention when the band starts recording their first studio album. This one is going to get 3.5 post-it notes out of 5 for an incredibly strong 22-minute debut that shows an impeccable amount of promise. Highly recommended, and let's hope a studio release is not too far away.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |

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