Toronto’s Godstopper are a criminally underrated band. Their first LP, 2012’s What Matters, though a stellar piece of angular noise rock, didn’t garner the sort of attention outside of the underground that it truly deserved but should things go according to plan, that will change soon.
Children Are Our Future marks something of a departure from What Matters with a more, dare we say, accessible sound, but crucially the EP maintains the band’s core identity with brooding atmosphere and sludgy riffs.
Their sound is still ridden with Sonic Youth tropes and dashed with flourishes of the Amphetamine Reptile roster at its best but the focus on the hook with this EP truly makes it stand out.
Opener ‘Andy Boy’ is a vibrant little number to start with harsh and clean vocals but is dominated by some hefty sludge riffs. With that said, Mike Simpson’s vocals are still tinged with a unbridled rage that more than complements the guitar work here.
The seven minute ‘Death’s Clothes’ mixes this vibe up though, slowing the pace down quite a bit with a ceremonial tone in the slow crawl of the drums and ringing guitars. Slowly but surely, the guitars grow in intensity with grating notes that hark to the band’s noise foundation.
‘An Old Photo’ twists the model of an “anthem” into something they can call their own. Driven by boisterous na na na na chants, the songs shifts between arena rock-like verses and lethargic but crushing passages that show off two sides of the same coin for Godstopper – great hooks but with razor-edged riffs and attitude.
‘Young Queen’ is the ebullient EP closer that’s crushingly grand and affecting in its scope, first kicking in with hazy riffs before trudging along into a stunning crescendo laced with gorgeously melodic and poignant vocals from Simpson that play us out until the end.
Children Are Our Future, though brief, accomplishes a lot in the short running time of an EP, which is a testament to the band’s growth as proficient song writers that can craft memorable and affecting tunes. Not one to be overlooked.