It’s very rare in this game to be surprised. As in genuinely “Well, I wasn’t expecting that!”. Tribulation managed it earlier in the year, but very few do as expectation is there, or at least, a preparation for what a band is going to sound like. So, fair play to God Damn. The Midlands outfit aren’t the sort of band I usually go for, and Vultures (One Little Indian) isn’t the sort of album you’d normally associate with Ghost Cult, but the quality of their hybrid tunes stands out, which is why if even a little of what is written about it below piques your interest, dive in my friends.
The album kicks off with ‘When The Wind Blows’, a quirky Clutch groove that flitters into a raspy distorted vocal, before ‘Silver Spooned’ dances from a grungey intro then barrels into a lo-fi desert groove with dreamy melodies. ‘Shoeprints’ dances and swaggers, wide-legged, from sassy Monster Magnet territory, ending up in a dark, heavy powerful alleyway. ‘We Don’t Like You’ touches heavy psych, Nirvana juvenility and jangle, dark Seattle melodies and the very best of British alt rock, while the eight-minute ‘Skeletons’ has moving acoustics, world-weary vocals and expansive brooding fuzz.
Hand in hand with the alternative rock is a host of fuzzy doom, and it’s the amalgamation into stoner, alt noise, groove, rock and doom n’ roll via Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and a host of other versatile references that makes this an interesting proposition. Vultures doesn’t just do one thing, except for be God Damn. They’ve successfully built themselves a whole new box, over to the side of all the normal boxes, and are all the better for it.
More than a hotch-potch of references from yesteryear, throughout they deliver on the song writing front too, even if they do self-consciously shy away from “the anthem”. There is more than enough to suggest a potential cross-over to more mainstream success in their future. Despite the lo-fi chops, God Damn could equally pulling in the plaudits at a Reading/Leeds type festival. Vultures should open some pretty big doors for them.