A few months ago, a friend of mine told me that Godstopper was the best band going in Toronto. Now, I don’t know about that per se – I actually like my friend’s band (Harangue) better, but that’s a matter of taste. Maybe I’m too conventional. “Conventional” is something Godstopper certainly is not and neither is their new EP Children Are Our Future.
Vocalist/guitarist Mike Simpson said the EP is sort of a bridge between the band’s previous LP What Matters and whatever comes next. It still holds all the weight of their previous work but does so more experimentally and with more space. Opener “Andy Boy” feels sly, underhanded and cagey. Off-kilter noiserock sets the nerves on edge right off the bat. It’s a multifaceted attack with a Psycho-esque quality running through it. It feels like being pistol-whipped with broken chords as Hannibal croons less violently in the background. Pinball machine guitar lines give way to crushing sludge riffs and all the venom Simpson can muster on the track’s latter half sends the listener running for safety. “Death’s Clothes” starts with a gnarly bass line from Miranda Armstrong. Steely, raw, and slow burning, it’s the snarling underbelly of this 7+ minute track. Simpson beckons, chants are harmonized, and guitars skitter like slow motion drops of oil in a frying pan. Simpson and the other guitarist, Derek Del Vecchio join Armstrong in bashing skulls with agonizing force, then pull your perceptions asunder in an anarchistic cacophony. “An Old Photo” – let me tell you, the “na na”s that bookend this little ditty may haunt you for eternity. They’ve been burning in my head for weeks! Sonically the track is frighteningly discordant. Dancing marionette riffs, clean vs. vicious vocals back and forth, and a depressing pace explode in the final minute’s emotional and ridiculously catchy end led by Adam McIllvray’s crashing percussion. Closer “Young Queen” brings more discord with chugging, oppressive sludge incessantly hammering at the soul aided by Simpson’s most passionate vocals. Gorgeous melody and savage tone coexist in regal majesty with soaring, very Gandharvas-like vocals. It’s as stirring as passage as you’re going to find and a perfect way to end a great little EP.
Children Are Our Future seems like a great way to introduce yourself to a band that is showing the beginnings of endless possibility. Let these 20 minutes penetrate and integrate, then go see what else Godstopper has to offer! Hey, with pay-what-you-want downloads you can’t go wrong!
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