Review Summary: What it looks like to try.
Whether or not you are familiar with Godstopper, there is a certain something you will notice when you listen to their music. Mixed in with the literally crushing sludge ridden riffs, and dissonant noise rock, there is a definite catchiness that permeates every song. That aside, there is really no way to pigeon hole a release like this, even if you really wanted to. I say the words "sludge" and "noise rock" but there is no doubt that Godstopper doesn't really care at all about these conventions. They play what they want to play, when they want to play it. Borrowing from a ridiculous array of influences, they end up crafting a grab bag of songs, each song as catchy as the last.
s has influences all over the board. So much so, it's not possible to pin-point them, or even mention all of them. There are obvious doom parts throughout, but the only real consistency. These influences are expressed through the vocals a lot, and the sheer range of vocal work is pretty impressive. They dabble in traditional doom, indie rock, thrash metal, hardcore punk and psychedelic desert rock. Citing sub-genres doesn't do the music much justice though. The variance of sound throughout the album is too organic to constrict it with sub-genres. Each song is really unique on it's own, and it makes the component elements easy to rationalize. It is perhaps the reason the album is so catchy. The fact that each song sticks out in its own way, and not to mention that they are all pretty head bang-able.
The guitar and bass work on here is heavy. Really heavy. The tone can deep and monstrous, or high pitched plucking, as well as everything in between. They do some pretty cool things, experimenting a lot with high tones and odd timing, like in 'Clean House.' Other songs become quite psychedelic, almost conjuring a Kyuss feeling vocally and instrumentally like in 'Right Up To Heaven.' The album ends on a strange acoustic lullaby, sung by a female band member. It ends the album with a pretty honest sense of finality. Compared to Godstopper's debut Ep Crawlspace
, the production on here is perfect. 'Don't Walk Home' and 'Bent' are re-recorded on the Lp to reveal a fuller more complete sound. In fact, everything instrumentally is improved. Godstopper is an example of one of those bands deep in the net of underground internet blogs that slipped itself in here and there. A lot of these bands can be over sensationalized despite irritating production. These are bands that have their ideas there, but don't have the resources or fundamental niche to express their music. It's nice to see a band like Godstopper fulfill their potential, and really put an idea into motion. Their difference from Ep to Lp shows a lot of growth.
Perhaps the downside of the all the variance is that the songs can sound a bit disconnected from each other at times. This has more to do with the song order itself, which is pretty forgivable. Otherwise, some of the songs have parts that can be a bit boring. It's not too bad, but it's noticeable some of the time, if only for a moment. That shouldn't be enough to stop anyone from listening to this though. Overall, What Matters
is a unique release. It's fresh and it's ambitious, and greatly overlooked, crossing boundaries that few of it's metal contemporaries have even bothered with in the last year. This album is highly recommended for anyone looking for something completely new.