On their “Demo” debut, weirdo-rockers Godcaster opened up a portal to hell. Laden with Zappa influence and comic imagery, those three songs immediately impressed and overwhelmed with their incredibly unique sound, wild instrumentation (including flutes, violins, and wild squeals!), and high production value. Now, on the scorched Earth their demo left behind, the band returns with two new songs that accomplish the exact same effect.
“She’s A Gun”, the lead single from which the release takes its name, immediately captures the same idiosyncratic energy of its predecessors, trading definite Zappa traits for funky, late-era Ariel Pink sounds. The groove anchored by the appropriately crunchy guitar is accentuated by Judson Kolk’s vocals wildly repeating the title of the track in his high, frantic voice. The energy here is palpable, as a chirpy guitar melody slays against the loud drums and random piano flourishes that keep the song upbeat and consistently interesting. What’s also notable here is that despite Kolk’s repetition of the titular phrase, the instrumentation explores different rhythms and grooves, like each instrument is challenging the others to keep up.
The track fades into its conclusion with the transcendent vocals of Von Lee playing foil to an almost math-y drum and guitar pattern, as low, atmospheric synths give the track a fitting conclusion. The incredible production courtesy of Jack Hubbell (of Telyscopes) gives balance to the song, making each section feel weighted and energetic.
The B-side to this single, “Rat Cure Death Proof” finds Godcaster back in that extremely heavy, Beefheart territory. The lo-fi rock influence begets massive guitars that fill up the song dynamically, while the expert drumming from Sam Pickard color the song’s personality and keep the band remarkably impressive instrumentally and conceptually. The lead guitar sound the band employed heavily on their “Demo” release returns amidst the loud, furious drums and visceral lyrics like “Rat cure save me, I’m a rat too / Pigmy babies save my virus”. With this track, Godcaster does somewhat find themselves getting lost in the music and the instrumentation, making the song feel a little less anchored. However, the song is still a consistently enjoyable listening experience nonetheless.
On both of their releases thus far, Godcaster has carved a path of their own, growing their twisted brand and aesthetic to a higher level of production and songwriting. There’s almost a little fear here of what these guys are going to do next, how they can top the level of absolute spectral weirdness they’ve accomplished in only five songs thus far, but beyond that is a morbid excitement to hear how they capitalize on the energetic momentum they’ve captured.
- Interesting and dynamic songwriting
- Fantastic production quality
- The band takes sonic risks in terms of arrangement and instrumentation that pays off wonderfully
- Impressive instrumentation
- Songs sometimes have so much going on that they get lost in themselves
- Leaves listener begging for more content.