The Upshot: The album rocks hard, lives smart and re-establishes the Godfathers as a vital force in rock & roll.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
The Godfathers have kept uncharacteristically quiet since their 2008 reformation, undergoing lineup changes that have left singer Peter Coyne as the only original member. As its title might indicate, A Big Bad Beautiful Noise loudly announces the relaunch. It’s also a reiteration of the band’s primary purpose – this isn’t a group that’s “matured” into playing middle-of-the-road adult pop music. Though its sociopolitical anger has cooled somewhat, the quintet is still full of spit and vinegar- “You Don’t Love Me” may address matters of the heart, but does so with the seething fury of the Godfathers’ best work. Coyne still has more than love on his mind, though. The bitterly folk rocking “Miss America” puts a pointed question to the land of the free – “Where do you go from here?” – while “Let’s Get Higher” sneers at junkies and “Poor Boy’s Son” looks at hard times and the ability to rise above them. “Feedbacking” and “Defibrillator” go more generalist in their anger, all dirty guitars and venomous vocal delivery. The title track simply announces the Godfathers’ intentions as loudly as possible – as clear a statement of purpose as any in rock. “You and Me Against the World” ends the record with a mixture of defiance and tenderness, a power ballad whose sentiment feels earned instead of entitled. Coyne sounds weathered, even weary, at times, but it’s not a detriment – this is a veteran who’s seen it all and still stands tall. A Big Bad Beautiful Noise rocks hard, lives smart and re-establishes the Godfathers as a vital force in rock & roll.
DOWNLOAD: “A Big Bad Beautiful Noise,” “Miss America,” “You Don’t Love Me”