I remember watching The Godfathers at the infamous Marquee Club way back in the formative years of the band’s career (just don’t tell them that I had only gone along for the support act) and thinking at the time…blimey, they sound like the sound track to a riot, or possibly even the catalyst for one. And that, in a nutshell, is everything you need to know. But it is a record that deserves a closer look than that, so hold my coat I’m going in.
When The Godfathers first crawled out of the smoking wreckage of The Sid Presley Experience in the mid eighties, they formed part of a rock and roll resistance, a movement of underground rabble-rousers who offered a wonderfully honest, threadbare and raw alternative to the chart glitz and manufactured pop that was prevalent. A timely reminder of that comes with the quasi-rockabilly groove and tribal beats of Poor Boy’s Son which automatically evokes the likes of The Gun Club and The Cramps, fellow travellers through the dank, back rooms and alternative club scene, plying a similar trade that swerved the theatrics of goth and the cartoon nature of rock as it tugged at more primal rock and roll threads.
Even when they deliver a straighter song it still sounds subversive, splendidly haughty and dangerous, but isn’t that what you are looking for in a rock band? Miss America is the perfect blend of sleazy garage raucousness and perfectly timed social commentary and even when they strip things right back on She’s Mine, they channel the same sort of dark, edgy majesty that Lou Reed occasional touched on. Hey, I’m sure they are lovely guys when you meet them at the bar, but when they are in work mode they have lost none of the sneering swagger that made them so appealing in the first place.