Back in the 1990s i listened to a lot of punk and indie rock. There was a certain amount of overlap between the two, with bands like Superchunk and Archers of Loaf doing some punkish work, and bands like Face to Face and Social Distortion doing some non-punk things that were very indie.
So, indie and punk are two great tastes that go great together. And Philly band Godamnit combine the two pretty seamlessly.
I have two comments here. First off, the band describe themselves as "Post-Hardcore" on their Tumblr/website. Really? We are in the post-hardcore period? Sigh. I can't keep up with all this anymore. Secondly, the band are from the Fishtown neighborhood. Fishtown. Heh. This makes me think of "The Shadow over Innsmouth". I wonder if this is a fish-person band?
Well, no matter. The music is enjoyable and catchy. The band is a four-piece guitar rock band. Everyone is credited with singing, so we don't know who is singing lead at any one point in time. However, there is a certain uniformity to the vocals. The vocalist(s) is scratchy voiced, his words a pained yowl that channels Eric Bachmann at his most poignant. You might dislike the vocals, so be warned.
The vocals are well mixed with the music, which tends to consist of pounding rhythms and layered guitars. Reference points include Superchunk, Face to Face, Green Day, Social Distortion, Archers of Loaf. So: energetic guitar rock, with quite a few standout tracks from among the thirteen offered here.
How to Take the Burn reminds me of Atlantans Sleep Therapy in the vague mopeyness and flat drumming. They are more Social Distortion-esque on We Play Craps, with the guitars really grinding.
New Perfume is, i think, the real standout track for me. The opening and the choruses are very Superchunky, the two guitars sliding against one another in a way that Wilber and McCaughan could easily have played in 1996. But then on the verses the guitars descend into chugging powerchords as the band channels Face to Face and Green Day. It's a nice contrast, and it really works. They continue the Superchunkish guitar work on the next track, Quiet Distractions as well, here pairing those great guitars with some really thudding drums.
Many songs of this record fall somewhere in the guitar rock spectrum, and of course your mileage will vary depending on what riffs burble through your consciousness. One thing is for sure, these fish-guys know how to play.
There are three slower songs here. The first is the best of the lot, a Beastie Boys callout in No Sleep 'Til Fishtown. This is almost a ballad, the guitars grinding like Hum. It's pretty, but the gravelly voice is a little out of place in this type of tune. It mostly works though.
It's Not Astronomy, however, is purely acoustic. I keep expecting Axl Rose to whistle by and urge us to practice patience... The album's closer, With Whiskey, is similar. Acoustic guitar, gravelly voice, and crowd noise, like this was recorded in a bar. The whole band kind of sings along on the chorus... Nice enough, with everyone chanting "I don't fit in". It's a decent end to the record, and i suppose it is nice that they mix up the guitar roar with some more thoughtful playing, but i really think that their louder tunes work better.
Overall though, a good guitar rock record. I bet this band is a lot of fun in concert.