Track Of The Day: GodNo! – ‘Hulk’

You don’t hear the words ‘Derby supergroup’ very often – but then, most bands don’t incorporate exclamation marks in their name, either. And, if the fourpiece known as GodNo! are trying to make themselves notable with their punctuation, they’re keeping the side up, sonically, as well. Formed as a side project by members of various bands from the local scene – Cable (guitarist Peter Darrington), Grawl!x/Mighty Kids/Sex Jokes (Shelley Jane Newman, bass and vocals), Merrick’s Tusk (guitarist James Stewart), and Pet Crow (drummer Dan  Barradell) – GodNo!’s origins also lie in the Reckless Yes label, co-founded by Peter, and his desire to emulate some of the bands that it supports.

Following on from ‘Unholy Water’, ‘Hulk’ is GodNo!’s second single from forthcoming EP, Too Much Future. And whereas their debut was heavy on bass and a creepy kind of post-rock, ‘Hulk’ flares out with spikey riffs and a rattle of drums. With Shelley’s vocals on lead here, there’s a delightful contrast between her voice and the backing – reminiscent of both Sonic Youth (who the band cite as an inspiration), but also more recent alt-indie such as Joanna Gruesome. Chrous-wise, it storms away, with over-driven guitar exploding over a rhythm section that flicks the power-switch as Shelley warns: “Being nice won’t save you… My strength is growing all the time”. In its middle-eight, meanwhile, she confirms: “I could be nice / This is a choice”, her voice growing ever more erratic, before a chorus reprise rounds out the song with a pleasingly off-kilter pop flourish.

Described by the band’s label as “a scream and a sigh at the patriarchy”, ‘Hulk’ shows a band with plenty of ideas and the wherewithal to put them together. They say that their songwriting and performing approach is collaborative – creating the perfect crucible for their distillation of fury in sound and meaning. The incredible GodNo!: you’ll like them when they’re angry.


John McGovern

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