Don't be fooled: God the Band have tongues in cheek
You’ve got to have balls the size of watermelons to call your group God the Band– either that or be a little cracked. I’m betting the members of NYC’s own God the Band are a little of column A and a little of column B, and mix the two up with a (un)healthy dose of off-the-wall humor. With a sound oscillating among Glam-era Bowie/T-Rex, crunchy ‘60s British Invasion rock (a la The Move), and energetic power-pop (sometimes in the same song), God the Band seems to be an act that hasn’t found a signature sound. And in this case, that’s a good thing.
God the Band’s press (and really their name, too) reads like it was produced by a couple of intoxicated high schoolers still flush with the idea of actually getting together and playing music (oh, the memories). The band members have all assumed at least partial pseudonyms, names like Danny Rockett (though there’s a chance this could be his real name) to Mugwump Jizm (slightly less likely), and all five members’ bios read something like this– “Terrible valleys have been forged in this absent-minded call to arms”(from the aforementioned Mugwump’s page).
So why am I wasting valuable print space, and my constant readers’ valuable time, on a band that seems to be one huge walking tongue-in-cheek joke? Interestingly enough, for all the band’s gibberish and aversion to the straight and narrow, they deliver what are sometimes pretty outstanding pop songs. The band was started in 1998 by Danny (vocals/guitar) and Mugwump (vocals/guitar), who write most of the band’s songs as the team Rockett/Jizm (a classic in the making).
Instrumentally, the band is fine overall, good at working in the pop context, but their sound is nothing to write home about, although Rollo Royce’s jangley keyboards do add a nice air of authentic ‘70s sound to the group’s rockier numbers.
“Radio Friendly” is a Rockett/Jizm tune available from the group’s webpage ( HYPERLINK http://www.godtheband.com godtheband.com), and though they write the song off as “something hooky” with which they could “sell out,” it’s actually a fine pop song, bespeaking years of listening to our rock forefathers (Beatles, Kinks, etc.). Harmony and Ray Davies-style riffs compete for attention with a melody straight off “Top of the Pops” circa 1966.
“Latchkey Kids,” written by drummer Johnny Onomatopoeia, is a faster, funnier tune, featuring the instantly hummable chorus, “Latchkey kids have more fun” – the melody sounding a bit like a fast Deep Purple tune without being too derivative.
Rock doesn’t always have to be a serious discussion or introspection about the plight of stardom-plagued pop-stars; sometimes young men and women just want to make up a stage name, go a little crazy, and have a good time. God the Band seems to be in this category, but while you’re enjoying their (possibly THC-fueled) antics, listen in to the genre-hopping songs beneath the shenanigans. There’s some good stuff hiding back there.
God the Band with P.S.F. perform at Outback Lodge, December 12. $5, 10pm