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The GOdspot

I don't trust anyone who hasn't listened to Sister Ray all the way through -Ryan Edward Johnston
 

In another reality Ryan Edward Johnston would have taken his rightful place next to his acid casualty brethren Syd Barret and Skip Spence. But in this reality he is no more than another unheard voice. A muted echo decaying alone next to the scene of social media share-do-wells. The Godspot belong to a past they will never know, and a future who will never understand them. Somehow, I think that is exactly where they should to be. 

 

Vocals, Rythym Guitar, Delusions of Grandeur / Ryan Edward Johnston
Lead Guitar, Alberta Premium / Blake Hamilton
Bass, Vocals, Pulmonary Embolism / Elise Roque

Drums, Seal Clubbing / James Green

Tambourine, Latina Heat / Evelyn Cardona

 

 

 
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The Music of Decline

I stood for a moment on the scent, smelling this shrill and blood-raw music, signifying the atmosphere of the hall angrily, and hankering after it a little too. One half of this music, the melody, was all pomade and sugar and sentimentality. The other half was savage, temperamental and vigorous. Yet the two went artlessly well together and made whole. It was the music of decline. 
-  Hermann Karl Hesse 


As a five year veteran of the "Bland-couver psych-less scene" leader Ryan Johnston puts it all on the table when he tells you “I don't trust anyone who hasn't listened to Sister Ray all the way through”. Judging by their new album: The Music of Decline I can kind of understand why he would say that. The album is a sprawling 75 minute act of defiance towards anything currently making the hipster illuminati over at Pitchfork go gaga.  
 
This isn't one for short attention spans, nor the faint of heart. This is a deliberate work of rebellion both exhaustingly cynical and disarmingly charming. With every “give up-give in” there is a blithe tongue in cheekiness that comes across not as a manufactured smirk, but a personal allusion. Songs like Aryan Rand, and Cherry Odds show off a playful absurdness that was missing from their first release.  
 
Speaking of something sorely missing from their EP: The voices of bass player Elise Cheetham and tambourinist Evelyn Cardona. Once relegated to backup status, their vocals now flourish. Cardona adds the soul to Soul Scrubbers, while Cheetham provides a delicate sweetness to I always skip Wild Horses. Combined they create a haunting harmony, one that envelops Johnston’s dry reedy vocals in an opaqueness that cradles you as you smoke your last cigarette of the night.  
 
Fans of guitar solos will be happy to know the chops Blake Hamilton showed on Dust on a Moth's Wings, have come out of the oven fully saturated after 3 years of marinating in a glaze of neo psychedelia. The simmering guitar lines he puts down will satiate even the most dour Guitar Center Saturday afternoon soloist. You know the one who obnoxiously doles out those blues hammer ons like he's Jimmy Page, while his kid begs for a set of drums? Yeah even hm. 
 
I could not end this review without mentioning the pinnacle of The Music of Decline. Part meditation, part exorcism, the title track of the album even sees drummer James Green contributing to the guitar mayhem with a searing fuzzed out cacophony of a solo. The last words you will hear on this album are a lament. "I don't do enough drugs these days, at least not the good ones anyways" I have to ask myself, if these are the bad ones ? What happens when the Godspot gets the good stuff?  
 
After a few trips through the Music of Decline, and after having time to let it all sink in, I can tell you this: I can't promise you will love the Music of Decline, I can't even promise you won't hate it. But I can promise I wouldn't trust anyone who didn't listen to The Music of Decline all the way through.  
 
-BB

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