Steffan Jugl (guitar), Ben Knabe (vocals), Sergio Arceri (drums) and Gregor Zirngibl (bass) are Godsground a collective of musicians from Munich, Germany who came together in 2014. Some of you may have crossed paths with the band previously thanks to their albums "The Golden Age" and "The Great Delusion" or maybe chanced upon their debut EP "Mosquitos", if you did then you will know that the band have a penchant for blending grunge/alt-rock dynamics together with elements of stoner fuzz and hard rock crunch to create a sound flecked with familiarity yet totally unique to themselves., if you didn't then the bands new album "A Bewildered Mind" is a good point to work back from.
A crunching guitar motif kicks off first song "Drink Some More" and is quickly joined by the drums and bass in a dirge like groove over which a mellow melodic vocal holds sway, although not doom by any stretch of the imagination there is nonetheless a doomy depressive air to this song, that said it is still a great song, just not one you would expect to open an album with. "A Game of Light" lifts the mood by jamming a chugging grunge groove interspersed with catchy hooks, both musical and vocal, that showcase the bands more playful side. Next track "Balance" finds the band hitting into an upbeat circular groove that channels both Alice In Chains and Soundgarden in its sonic attack with its vocals very much favouring the former while for "Into the Butter" Godsground employ that old grunge staple of loud/quiet/loud dynamics only with Godsground's quiet tending to wander into experimental territories while their loud has a heavy stoner vibe. "Flood" starts life low key and humble then suddenly comes at you in waves of gnarly riffage and thundering rhythms with the songs vocals taking on a similar dynamic. Godsground really stretch out for next song "Non Reflecting Mirror", the band kicking the song off with gnarly distortion heavy riffs punctuated by scorching shredded guitar before dropping down into a mellow, almost jazz like psych groove over which the vocal adopts a lounge lizard type croon that gets more impassioned and grittier as the song gets more intense and heavy. Last song "Letter Full of Wine" mixes its stoner with its alt-rock and then layers some bluesy guitar soloing over the top, not content to leave it at that they then wind things up by taking off on a heavy psych/doom jam, its all a bit schizophrenic but boy does it work.
Godsground's "A Bewildered Mind" is a prime example of how good grunge/alt-rock can still be if allowed to evolve at its own pace and be free to absorb elements from other musical sources, its an album that draws obvious influences from the past but at the same time is not beholden to those influences, as Kurt Cobain once said "Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are"
Check 'em out .....
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