Like most things late ’80s/early ’90s, noise rock is back in a big way right now. And like most things that come back in a big way, noise rock tends to lose something of its original spirit in the revivalist format — most often, the missing piece is appealing and idiosyncratic songcraft. Feedback and skronking aside, the best noise rock acts never forgot that they were, y’know, rock acts, and wrote idiomatic tunes you could remember after the album ended. In contrast to many of their latter-day peers, Toronto’s Godstopper have increasingly chosen to double down on melody over fuzz — funky timings and Melvins-esque trudges serve to support maddeningly earwormy vocal hooks, rather than bullying them out of the way. This approach pays major dividends on “Shoulder,” the first single from the upcoming Who Tries Anymore 12″ EP. (Do album titles get any more ’90s-y?) There’s a lot of compositional bells and whistles on deck here, from a chugging chorus riff that feels like it’s perpetually interrupting itself to a left-turn Thin Lizzy guitar lick that King Buzzo would surely appreciate. But the part that’ll really suck you in is the sublime vocal harmonies that frontman Mike Simpson layers over the song like fishnet over a boulder. Listen (via Exclaim).
Who Tries Anymore will be out on 7/8 via Hex Records.