Gig Review: God Damn at the The Cockpit, Leeds

God Damn  PIC: ANDY HUGHES

God Damn PIC: ANDY HUGHES

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Before waxing lyrical about Wolverhampton rockers God Damn, support act Boxing Club deserve a mention.

A trio from Dewsbury and Wakefield, they specialise in Zep-style blues rock riffology shot through with serious Yorkshire grit.

Their image, or lack of it, is at odds with their command of their instruments, and they deliver plenty of smart moves with rock solid timing. A cohesive dress code would serve them well, I reckon.

Headliners God Damn serve to prove that there’s something in the water in the Black Country.

Long hailed as the birthplace of UK heavy metal, it’s now turned out this talented trio who fuse grunge, blues rock, stoner rock and metal into one monumental, cathartic roll of rock thunder.

Although operating as a two-piece while guitarist Dave Copson recovers from injuries he received in a nasty car crash last summer, God Damn have no issues with the fullness of their sound - they are very loud and very heavy. But, for all the punishing volume, there’s a dark grace to their melodies and as much as they can deliver monster riffs they’re just as comfortable tackling changes of pace and mood, like on the deliciously maudlin Dangle Like Skeletons.

Tracks from their excellent Heavy Money EP (currently available to download for free from bandcamp) feature prominently although they also throw in their blistering take on In Heaven, a song that featured in film director David Lynch’s creepy masterpiece Eraserhead.

The duo throw themselves completely into their performance. The sound they generate on just guitar, vocals and drums is so huge that it leads my companion to lean in at one point and ask me what it was the missing band member did.

If a rock band can be said to have something as effete-sounding as that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’, God Damn have got it.

It’s just a shame there aren’t more bodies in the audience, as you can’t help but feel that frontman Thomas Edward’s performance would have been even more explosive if he had an animated crowd to feed off.

If there’s any justice in the world, and with the band freshly signed to One Little Indian, small audiences will be a thing of the past.

Gig date: February 13 2014

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