Godsticks – Inescapable
Release Date: 7th February 2020
Formats: CD, DL, vinyl
They often say we have to suffer for our art. Sometimes the most profound and insightful work comes from digging deep and encountering grief and hardship. Roald Dahl used to sit in his shed. Darran Charles, on the other hand, has that streak of wanting to get things absolutely right that can drive us to distraction.
This rather fine collection of songs is a direct result of Charles’ own personal demons and struggles to get to grips with his own search for perfection. One he describes as: “nothing you ever do ever meets the impossibly high standards you set for yourself.” The result? A mighty powerful piece of work that could be as close to perfect as Godsticks are going to get.
Inescapable is built on bouts of urgent and angular riffing that’s a feature of Relief and the battering that comes in Resist. The aggressive, metallic edge that’s been applied to their occasional progressive tendencies, tied to the theme of the search for perfection, is one that runs through the album. Nirvana meets Tool with Thom Yorke on vocals springs to mind together with a statement of intent about the sense of paranoia in opening track Denigrate where TesseracT’s Dan Tompkins adds an impressive guest performance
Surrender and Breathe might give out musically lighter options, yet lyrically keep the kettle boiling; you’re never going to more than a few minutes or so from a crushing riff or in the case of Victim, a brooding piece that delivers the impassioned guitar break of the album.
Time ends the record in a powerful fashion. Charles’ and Gavin Bushell’s guitar pairing reinforcing the quality of their work on these songs. However, it’s in the nine and a half minutes of Change that could possibly hold the most definitive Godsticks statement yet; lulled in by a gentle opening, it yields to a violent outpouring that pulls no punches in displaying the frustration and determination that fuels Inescapable.
A recent interview in PROG magazine reveals Darran Charles as an uncompromising individual (“My pizza’s ready now so you can f*** off.”). Even the single word song titles, while immensely satisfying, are a sign of a stubborn candour and belligerent bluntness. It’s a great record and maybe Inescapable will even provide some therapeutic release; it might be irrefutable evidence for getting something off your chest.
Darran Charles has also done a Why I Love piece for us – read about his love of Rage Against The Machine (not surprisingly) here
Watch the video for Denigrate from the album here: