God and Country – Molloch

God and Country may have started as a hardcore-type band, but now the band seems to have situated itself near to the Neurosis or Isis side of the spectrum. There isn’t a whole lot on Molloch that you haven’t heard before, and some of the influences weigh heavier than do others.

There’s some Mars Volta seeping into tracks like “The Future is History” and “The Bad News.” Actually maybe it’s as much At The Drive-In as it is anything else, or at least that seems to be the main influence on the singing. “And Where You Are” never lets the rock aesthetic escape its chains, though, and it shows that the band can make restraint into songcraft if it wants to.

More typical of the songs is “Last Rites.” It has the soaring rock chorus and the thick guitar chords characteristic of the post-emo bands you may have already tired of. There’s a strain of politics, passion, and anger on Molloch. Lines line “This life will be the death of us” (on “Strong Crosses”) might have more heft were it accompanied by less well-trod lyrical terrain or if it were penned by, say, Mark Kozelek. Here, it comes across as a little self-conscious.

The musicianship and production both show professionalism. It’s not that the band isn’t good, it’s just that it begs the question of whether we need yet another band making songs that sound interchangeable with their predecessors.