The Godfathers

More Songs About Love & Hate

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The Godfathers' second album for Epic, 1989's More Songs About Love & Hate, lacked an instant classic single like "Birth School Work Death" from their 1987 debut, but otherwise it came close to matching that album's muscle and fury and confirmed the band had plenty of offer. Producer Vic Maile gave these sessions just a dash more polish than their previous work, but for the most part the small differences in the sound of the two albums seem to come from the band; two years of hard touring made the Godfathers even tighter than they were before, and their tough, meat-and-potatoes sound had picked up a bit more heft and precision along the way. The guitar work by Kris Dollimore and Mike Gibson fuses the concision of punk with the grand scale of hard rock, and lead singer Peter Coyne brings a streetwise sneer to the young mod's forgotten stories that inform his lyrics, lacking the posturing of second-wave punk but matching it for working-class rage. And while the songs on More Songs About Love & Hate aren't always as memorable as the group's debut, there aren't any outright duds either; "She Gives Me Love" is solidly anthemic, "How Low Is Low" is a bitter look at the trials of a Catholic upbringing, the music hall swing of "Life Has Passed Us By" is surprisingly effective, like Village Green Preservation Society-era Kinks on a mean drunk, and "Walking Talking Johnny Cash Blues" is rollicking and wickedly funny. The Godfathers didn't strive to be cool; they aimed to write good songs and rock hard as they played them. They hit that target with a bull's-eye on More Songs About Love & Hate, and it's fine work from an underrated band.

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