God Of Love, aka James Cole Burnett, releases his sophomore album, Do Your Worst, via Red Zepplin. Recorded and produced by Alex Bhore right before the pandemic, the album’s release was postponed more than a year.
At the age of 14, James wanted to play in his older brother’s band. So, he started taking piano lessons, writing songs and performing with his brother, Chase, and Matthew O’Connor (drums). While playing in the trio, he fronted another band, called Mankind Forever. Later, he left Texas and moved to Los Angeles to play with Chase and Matthew in a band named UNCLES.
UNCLES played for a year and a half and then broke up just before recording with producer Sean O’Brien. James, now solo, worked with Sean on three singles, followed by going back to Texas, where he recorded his first album, Casino Dream, with producer Will Hooper.
Comprising nine tracks, entry points on Do Your Worst include “Do You See That Light,” a luminous-laced alt-rock tune riding crunching percussion and thick layers of lo-fi, psychedelic sound. For some reason, James’ vocals conjure up suggestions of David Byrne, with his clipped, stilted inflexions.
“Black Beyond” blends shoegaze and industrial psychedelic alt-rock into an avant-garde tune brimming with eerie washes of moody colours. While “Take You Seriously” exudes new wave savours with hints of punk-lite. The result is a retro-flavoured song reminiscent of The Talking Heads.
“Wedding Of The Century” chugs and throbs on a shuffling rhythm topped by strident, repetitive textures and James’ unnerving vocals, rife with ominous timbres suitable for a David Lynch movie – shadowy and edgy.
Do Your Worst is a good album, demonstrating James Cole Burnett’s affinity for innovative alt-rock articulated with punchy rhythms, which are his forte rather than low-slung, measured acoustic tunes like “Where I Go At Night.”