Lo-Fi Mojo: The Godfathers

Written by Lo-Fi Mojo, Music

Sorry mates, don’t mean to confuse y’all. For the record, Ed Murray’s currently writing Lo-Fi Mojos, and this is the normal location for a refreshing, boozy Cold Shot of blues to pour down your neck.

Being the whimsical old cuss that I am–spirit blown in all directions by a muse that knows neither organization nor regularity–this week finds me writing a Lo-Fi salute to a band recently rediscovered here in a case of never-ripped CDs rotting in the bottom of my musty closet: The Godfathers.

Most of us came by this one-hit wonder through the band’s one hit, “Birth School Work Death,” off the album of the same name. However, the band actually recorded six studio albums, before and after that solitary commercial success. The Londoners still play here and there, stateside, with a small but loyal following that come to their reunion shows.

This isn’t a salute to the band’s Britpop legacy, or a rehashing of its glory days (like they do in those recent VH-1 Eighties specials designed to make mom and dad wilt in nostalgia and their teenaged kids vomit their Hot Pockets). In fact, it’s a salute to the Godfathers’ unbending loyalty to the grungy garage sounds of the 1960s, that primordial protopunk ooze linking the Sonics and the Fleshtones, the Shadows of Night and Agent Orange. The Godfathers, too, show up on the Children of Nuggets box, don’t forget.

All of these rockin’ bands loved rockabilly, appreciated the blues, and understood what elements of the surf sound made the best cuts into succulent ear candy.

What, you say? The Godfathers? The dudes who spit out the cynical, sardonic “Birth School Work Death?” Ah, but there’s the rub. If every song the band did came all depressing and PO’d to boot, they’d be well nigh unlistenable. So the band had a couple other types of songs, including the more upbeat/less sarcastic song and my favorite: The ’60s-style rock romp including “John Barry” and “Walking Talking Johnny Cash Blues.” The former is from Hit By Hit, a record predating BSWD. The latter comes from More Songs About Love And Hate, which came right after. Rock on!

Cold Shot returns in two weeks. That is, if that muse gets’er hand back on the tiller.