Godsticks follows up to their self titled debut EP, with Spiral Vendetta. The continues in a forward fashion and add some expanded ideas within the tightly crafted music. While still a trio, bassist Jason Marsh left and was replaced at least for this release by Bryan Beller (Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, NDV, James LaBrie and many more).
Just like the EP, Spiral Vendetta is a recipe of equal parts progressive rock, fusion and indie rock. There’s even some jazzier guitar parts throughout the album. Darran’s vocals are in peak form again and for the uninitiated, his voice is similar in ways to Adrian Belew. There’s something about his voice that you know you’re listening to Godsticks and not some generic boring paint-by-numbers prog.
Spiral Vendetta is one of those albums that reveals new sounds with each listen. Even after a dozen or so times listening, I hear new sounds each time. This album could be classified as “grower” for simply that point. Some highlights on the album for me are - “Timshel” (5:20) with it’s concise and jazz like playing amongst each of the musicians. “Put Seven In Bold” (5:21) with it’s dreamy instrumentation with some fusion moments. “Unravel” (4:39) is an acoustic piece and a perfect way to end an amazing album.
In closing, if you want your prog in in short concise yet complex moments, then look no further than Godsticks’ first full length album, Spiral Vendetta. The music on this album will stay fresh whether it’s played a dozen or a few dozen times. This is one of the more interesting albums of 2010 and gets a high recommendation
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on September 23rd, 2010