this is warWe all know that band that was “born out of time”. The one that was on the cusp of success and that would/should have become household names given a modicum of luck and better timing. The Godfathers certainly qualify. 

Arising in the UK 10 years after punk’s initial rush and playing a brutal but hook-laden fast R & B, they had a degree of chart success in the US with “Birth, School, Work, Death” and “More Songs About Love & Hate” before leaving their major label for a German indie, peetering out in the 2000’s before a late decade reformation.

File The Godfathers with Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom and the Ramones as bands who were neither one thing or the other as far as their US labels were concerned - at the time when MTV was ushering in an era of stylists over substance. Perhaps they arrived too soon or too late or maybe the London East End chic went over the marketers' heads. It’s a moot point. At least they wore nice suits. 

So to “This Is War”, a live album presumably issued to give The Godfathers something to sell on the road in the UK and Europe. Only frontman Peter Coyne remains and he’s leading a killer band that holds up in its own right.

“This Is War” is a raw and dynamic recording put to tape on a red-hot night in Sweden in December 2017. The hits are there as well as a decent serve of recent material from the current “Big Bad Beautiful Noise” studio record. 

Coyne’s gruff growl is still in evidence and the contrasting tones of guitarists Steve Crittal and Alex McBain do justice to the material with precise and often fiery playing. The sonic emphasis is on the guitars but Chris Coyne’s successor, Darren Birch, anchors the songs as a solid bass-player should with Tim James a no-nonsense foil on drums. 

The album takes off early with “Cause I Said So”. Th stuttering “Walking Talking Johnny Cash Blues” is an ornery throwback of a song and is rightly called out as such by Coyne. Newer songs “Defibrilllator” and the freight train “Big Bad Beautiful Noise” show this line-up lives up to the band’s legacy. A scorching “Birth School Work Death” leaves the Malmo locals wanting more. 

It’s a limited edition CD in a gatefold wallet and you can score it here