(One Little Indian)
God Damn is a rocking duo from the UK, slinging a heavy brand of sludgy rock that has one foot firmly planted in the metal camp and the other in heavy grunge. Their debut album Vultures presents a sound that’s equal parts Alice and Chains, Sonic Youth, and Queens of the Stone Age, with a smattering of other 90s and desert rock influences thrown in. The Rob Zombie-like vocals fit perfectly over the groovy, stoner-rock-inspired guitar riffs that make up the base of God Damn’s sound. The duo expands upon their catchy melodies and fuzzed out choruses with an abundance of sonically interesting, and adequately noisy, guitar freak-outs. Low-end-heavy guitars, aided by the hard-hitting drums, result in a mix that is nothing but pummeling.
To top it all off, God Damn clearly knows their way around a sick riff or two. The end of “Maladie Melodie” breaks into a groovy part that sounds like something from an Electric Wizard album, while the openings of “The Cut” and “When The Wind Blows” are pure Leviathan-era Mastodon worship of the highest quality. Not everything with God Damn is grimy and pissed off, though — “Skeletons” is a catchy ballad that starts out light, and demonstrates that the band understands how much heavier the heavy parts are when juxtaposed with quieter passages.
With all of the boring butt-rock bands that aren’t fading into obscurity fast enough, and all of the pseudo-indie, alt-rock bands that seem to be doing the same thing, it’s nice to see a band like God Damn putting their own heavy spin on the classic foundation of rock, and doing something cool with it. This first album by God Damn is god damn rad, and they are definitely a band to watch. (Jacob Katsiaficas)