‘THIS IS WHAT A WINNER LOOKS LIKE’
Introducing the new era of the band is single ‘Mayhem’. Musically the track flits from pneumatic staccato style riffs to an earworm chorus before an inspired solo slingshots us home to the song’s abrupt end. The track comes as the first taster of what ‘This Is What A Winner Looks Like’, an album that capitalises on the band’s near limitless sense of creativity, expert musicianship and effortless song writing to deliver what is surely their finest release to date.
Characterised by a rhythmic groove, the song is a testament to the airtight playing of the band and their unorthodox song writing that has made them one of Kscope’s shining lights. A fantastic initial offering of what is to come from the next chapter in the story of Godsticks.
Revelling in the chaos of the track, Godsticks guitarist Darran Charles, had the following to say:
“I stumbled upon this really ugly dissonant chord that sounded great with distortion, and thought about ways of making it sound even nastier and more chaotic (hence the title). But I was also interested in causing Tom (drummer) physical harm so I devised a bass drum pattern so complex that it will likely cause him a repetitive strain injury in the very near future. This song promises to be immense live and the music video hopefully translates the energy we’re going to bring to the stage when we take this song out on the road.”
Accompanying the song comes a video, produced by Martin Holmes (@ohmzfilm on Instagram), which brings this musical dissonance to life and has its own story to tell as Charles illustrates below:
“For what is probably the heaviest and most rebellious track on the forthcoming album ‘This Is What A Winner Looks Like’ we chose a location that itself was the location of the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in Great Britain – The Westgate Hotel. Where on the 4 November 1839, local politician and activist John Frost led a protest march of 3,000 Chartists, some of them armed, into the centre of Newport, South Wales. Godsticks – as of yet – have no plans to form such a rebellion.”
Having released ‘Inescapable’ in February 2020, a mere month before the world plummeted into lockdown, the band had no means to perform the new songs to an audience. Living in this world of stasis, it wasn’t until September 2021 when the band were able to perform the tracks for a live audience that they began to think about their next album.
“It was impossible not to notice the creative tsunami that the pandemic engendered in the music industry – every band and their dog were writing and releasing new music. For me though, it was the least creative time in my entire life.” mentions Charles.
Their love for writing and productivity had been reignited simply by being able to perform live. Despite the new found resolve, the band remain humble yet incredibly driven. Experimenting with electronic sounds and delegating writing duties in the band allowed ‘This Is What A Winner Looks Like’ to be their most collaborative album to date.
Recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios, the album was produced by James Loughrey and mastered by Maor Appelbaum. The album’s striking cover artwork was created by Richard Beeching who mentions “The band and I agreed we needed a visually engaging sleeve to match the album’s strong title, but nothing too literal. Something just about abstract enough to allow the audience to make of it what they will. Our primate fits the bill nicely.”
Godsticks – ‘This Is What A Winner Looks Like' - Tracklisting
- 'If I Don't Take It All'
- Eliminate and Repair
- This Is My New Normal
- Devotion Made To Offend
- Silent Saw
- Don't Say A Word To Me
- Wake Up
The album will be available in the following formats:
- LP - Black vinyl
- CD - Digipack
Pre-orders from the band’s store get a bonus 3 track CD titled ‘Crushed’ and pre-orders from Kscope store will also receive the bonus 3 track CD as well as a signed postcard.
The band will be appearing live for the following dates with more to be announced soon!
- 22nd June – Cardiff – Fuel
- 23rd June – London – Camden Assembly
- 24th June – Newcastle, The Cluny 2
- 25th June – Edinburgh – Legends
Their mix of heavy rock, progressive and alternative metal with a dynamic range of angular riffs and emotional depth will leave listeners reeling. The band's sound has refined over their releases on Kscope, beginning with the technically astounding metal on Emergence to the more industrial and progressive-influenced Faced With Rage. Now, with Inescapable, the band have channelled their energy and technical ability into the melody, phrasing and vocal performance, allowing emotion to take centre stage.
The band found themselves wanting a definitive theme running through Inescapable, without turning it into a concept album, of being more open, more personal and ultimately one that shines an inquisitive light on Charles’s struggle with inner demons which gave the songs a new level of intimacy. “Lyrically, I’ve always shared personal thoughts, feelings and experiences but in a very ambiguous way. For Inescapable - in a conscious effort not to repeat ourselves – I thought I’d be a little more self-reflective and perhaps examine some of my inner demons. I have a strange relationship with music, and especially playing guitar. I would struggle to survive without either, but equally they have made my life mentally torturous because my own self-worth is completely wrapped up in them. I used to be very much a perfectionist in my early years, and whilst some people may wear that as a badge of honour, I eventually viewed it as huge heavy weight dragging down. It was a long time before I arrived at the realisation that perfection was impossible to achieve.” elaborates Darran Charles.
Perfectly highlighting the album’s leitmotif, the band reveal their first single “Denigrate”, “the writing of this song was a sort of analysis of my ongoing battle with perfectionism and the general feeling that nothing you do ever meets the impossibly high standards you set for yourself”. The song features additional vocals from TesseracT’s gifted vocalist Daniel Tompkins to record vocal harmonies, adding an extra layer of aggression and energy.
The shoot for the quirky video, directed by George Laycock (Blacktide Audio/Visual) proved to be a memorable day for the band as Godsticks drummer Tom Price recalls “Everyone in the band was so excited about the concept, but when we arrived on set and saw a large table full of cakes, sweets, chocolate, sugar, sprinkles, honey and all manners of confectionary, the magnitude of what we had all let ourselves in for finally dawned on us! By the end of the shoot we were completely covered in everything - it was like 'The Great British Bake Off' meets 'Apocalypse Now'! It was so much fun to make, but despite several spins in the washing machine I still can‘t get that sweet sickly smell out of my jeans!” Charles chimes in “It wasn’t fun, it was horrible!”
Inescapable was produced by James Loughrey (Skindred) and recorded at the famed heritage Monnow Valley studio.