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The Best of the Godfathers: Birth, School, Work, Death

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At their best, the Godfathers were a band fueled by working class rage; they were too neat and precise for punk, and too straightforward for the artier guitar daubers who were coming on to the scene, but they were clearly unhappy with the world around them, and more than willing to let their voices and their amplifiers tell us all about it. The Godfathers' first major-label album makes the mistake of leading off with their best and most distinctive song, "Birth, School, Work, Death," which summed up their outlook with fierce concision and bone-snapping force, but the rest of the album confirms the band had much more to offer than one good tune. Kris Dollimore and Mike Gibson are a powerful guitar combination, generating plenty of swagger and menace, while bassist Chris Coyne and drummer George Mazur lay down the beat with muscular precision, and Peter Coyne's vocals drip with a derision that suggests he'd just as soon kick your teeth in if he thought it was worth his time. And the band knew how to write songs; along with the instant classic title tune, Birth, School, Work, Death includes a handful of other top-shelf rockers, including "If I Only Had Time," "'Cause I Said So," and "S.T.B.," and "It's So Hard" shows they could get away with a more relaxed pop tune and still make it work. And if these guys had to close out the set with a song about a girl, "Love Is Dead" is just the way to do it. Vic Maile's production is spacious but never loses its tight focus, capturing the power of the performances with the efficiency of a boxer landing the knockout punch. Birth, School, Work, Death was a fine opening salvo from an underrated band, and decades after its initial release it still sounds as fresh and strong as a espresso fresh from the machine, and with just as much of a kick. [Lemon's reissue of Birth, School, Work, Death has remastered audio, includes new liner notes from Daryl Easlea, and includes six bonus tracks. "Miss That Girl" and a cover of Them's "I Can Only Give You Everything" were originally B-sides to singles, and they're not quite up to the standards of the album, but the other four tunes come from a 1988 concert in Chicago and demonstrate what the Godfathers could deliver on-stage, especially on "Unsatisfied" and a fiery cover of John Lennon's "Cold Turkey.")

Biografía

Fecha de formación: London, England, 1985

Género: Rock

Años de actividad: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Godfathers were founded by brothers Peter and Chris Coyne in London in 1985. Vocalist Peter and bassist Chris were joined by guitarists Kris Dollimore and Mike Gibson and drummer George Mazur. Coming ten years after Britain's punk explosion, they nevertheless built on that music's rage and force. Their debut album, Hit by Hit, was released in the U.S. on the indie label Link in 1986 and followed by Birth, School, Work, Death on Epic in 1988, which made the Top 100 bestsellers as the title song...
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