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Album Review: Godhunter – Codex Narco

Given that their lineup includes members of CHRCH and Demon Lung, one might be tempted to pre-emptively write off Godhunter’s forthcoming EP Codex Narco as yet another slab of drugged-out Electric Wizard worship. Doing so, however, would be a mistake. The drugged-out part of the assumption is certainly correct, but this is no Dopethrone wannabe – in fact, I’d almost call the bulk of the record new wave. This is a strange little EP, and in some ways it’s kind of a mess, but it’s also really a compelling listen.

Part of what makes the album so strange is that only three of the seven tracks seem to be actual songs, one of which is a surprisingly faithful cover of Tegan & Sara’s “Walking With a Ghost.” Two of them—“Our Blood is Poison” and the unexpectedly amusing “Unarmed Combat”—are brief instrumentals with extended dialogue samples, and two basically serve as intro and outro tracks. That leaves two tracks to carry the bulk of the EP. Luckily, those tracks are fucking outstanding. “Like Glass Under Black Fingernails” is the heavier of the two tracks, sounding almost like a sludgy take on something from The Cure’s Faith, and features a particularly harrowing vocal on the coda. The other, “Cocaine Witches & Lysergic Dreams,” feels like something from an alternate universe where Wax Trax! bands provided the soundtrack for a neo-noir version of Miami Vice (which I would totally watch the hell out of, by the way). Those two tracks are so strong that they justify the price of the record alone. The Tegan & Sara cover is just icing on the cake.

In addition to be a good record, it’s also for a really good cause. I don’t generally cut-and-paste from press releases in reviews, but this deserves an exception. According to the band:

Godhunter’s commitment to speaking out about social issues has not changed though, and as such, the proceeds from this album will be donated to Planned Parenthood, as reflected in the pink color scheme. Mitch Wells from Thou is also making a video for the Tegan & Sara cover song “Walking With A Ghost.” This video is being made to support suicide prevention. Even though the album is very personal, the resulting effort is all about giving back to organizations the band members care deeply about.

 Codex Narco Will be available on May 18 in a variety of formats via both Battleground and Baby Tooth Records.

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