Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
Last year, the Dave Goddess Group released an EP entitled ‘Blown Away.’ The endeavor was one designed to “recall the great days of classic rock.” The group’s lineup is a remarkably exciting step in that direction, pairing a traditional rock lineup with additions the likes of a saxist and flutist. Fronted by Dave Goddess, the band creates a Phil Spector-esque wall of sound throughout ‘Blown Away.’ Let’s check it out.
The opening of the album, which is the title track, sets an interesting precedent for the rest of the record. There is a lot going on in the mix. Brass sections, a female backup vocal section, and a myriad of other sonic intricacies are at play on ‘Blown Away.’ All too often, I’m critiquing independent acts that attempt to create this kind of production and end up botching the production or overloading the sound. The more factors in a piece, the more opportunities there are for it to go terribly wrong. Fortunately for all of us, Dave Goddess and company avoid nearly all those stereotypical pitfalls and arrive at a phenomenal sound.
‘One Man’s Passion’ has a very different feel to it than ‘Blown Away,’ embracing a John Mellencamp-type soundscape. One could argue that Goddess’ persona is a multi-faceted one, pulling inspiration from a few different directions. ‘Blown Away’ has the gruffness and passion of a Tom Waits delivery, but with the bombastic style of a Springsteen track. ‘One Man’s Passion’ feels inherently more classic, again, embodying a style akin to John Mellencamp. As Goddess navigates the sonic pastures of his latest release, he seems to find himself four different times on four different songs. That’s admirable: he’s fresh and consistently exciting.
The most well-written song in the collection is ‘Fall From Grace.’ Goodness, this is the kind of track I could spin all day. It’s tinged with every bit of that wonderful classic sound that Goddess lays claim to in his self-description. His vocals are absolutely compelling: gritty, yet smooth. Emotional, yet resolute. ‘Common Ground’ continues his evolution even further, expanding into some unique productional territory that I really dig. I love the Dave Goddess Group’s ability to hop from style to style and maintain a fun and engaging sound throughout.
Go buy the EP now; it’s very much worth your time and money. More so, keep tabs on the Dave Goddess Group. They’re not a young group of guys, but man, they rock like they are. They’re the ultimate bar or club band: I’d love to catch these guys in a New York dive or the like. There is something special in this sound, even if it’s just a fueling of nostalgia.