One could dwell on the fact that the members of Melbourne’s New Gods have previously been involved in formidable local bands.

Perhaps being aware of this provides more of an explanation or understanding of just how strong this debut is.

The knowledge that Dominic Byrne previously fronted the now defunct Little Red does serves to highlight the breadth of his songwriting capabilities.

Clearly New Gods has provided the frontman with the opportunity to expand his creativity and develop more emotional depth in his craft.

Opening tracks ‘Razorblades’ and single ‘On Your Side’ certainly show Byrne taking on more emotional depth than what we may have heard before.

It’s fantastic to hear that New Gods aren’t afraid to explore darker sounds while still being able to  maintain those irresistible pop melodies for this batch of songs.

‘Klipse’ and ’70 Hours’ show New Gods experimenting more with production, creating eclectic atmospheres and slowly building in dynamic and instrumentation.

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Even with these slight detours, the strong pop sensibilities of Byrne’s songwriting still shine through.

Closing track ‘Skipping Stone (Oblivion)’ shows the group at their most reflective and also at their most musically dramatic.  What shines through in particular is the band’s ability to take advantage of dynamics to replicate that feeling of reflection.

As the song soars towards its peak, pounding instrumentation underpin Byrne’s voice and subtle harmonies, which float above the heavy guitars.

Above all, this debut is grounded in the pursuit to produce clear, concise and thoughtful songs with a distinct Australian flavour.

It certainly paves the way for New Gods to develop into an even more formidable force than the bands previously occupied by each member.

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