Pushin forward back

For those of us who never quite understood how it was that Nirvana was "punk," the By Gods are here to make sure that connection is confirmed. This power pop-rock trio leavens Cobainian bombast with Superchunkian pluckiness.

The By Gods
Get On Feelings
(Blecch Records)
Which isn't to say this stuff is the equal of either influence. Clearly not. But the By Gods play unabashed rock and roll, and they sound like they're having a hell of a time while they're doing it. The sound is entirely backward-looking, and these folks don't give a shit.

Free and easy, fast and heavy. No matter the amperage, these songs keep moving. That, of course, was the genius of Nevermind (which means that perhaps Butch Vig was the real star of that album, but even musing on that question probably scores me a few dozen indie rock fatwas), and that lesson was not missed by these folks.

The musical punch of these songs is matched by the lyrics, which subvert their superficial subjects with incisive thought. Real deep? I dunno. But awfully good, in any case.

Like I said, this will appeal to those of us who actually remember the indie rock heyday (and can spit out the sequence of Tossing Seeds like my son can do for baseball lineups from a particular date). The kids today? I know a couple who will give this a fair shake. Whatever. Good music remains good, even if it is a bit out of time. The By Gods keep kicking ass, which probably indicates good things for the future of humanity. Or something.

Jon Worley

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