The By Gods, composed of Tye Hammonds and husband and wife duo, Natalie and George Pauley, sound at times to meld into a single organism. This is certainly the result of their skills being honed by a steady touring regimen. Tightening the screws an extra turn on an already tight unit seems to have allowed the band to loosen up; favoring mid-tempo chugging to a frantic burnout.
Despite the vibrance of the music there’s a vein of anger masked behind the songs’ hooks, like a polite smile to accompany a middle finger. The chorus of the titular track, “Phone Calls”, “Please pick up my phone calls… Please pick up my phone calls.” invokes the image of a phone ringing in another room, like an itch you can’t scratch, as the song gradually builds into a fury. The song “Good Lie” wraps a bitter pill in a sweet melody as it serves up an admonishment of the age-old annoyance of the “humble brag”, a phenomena that has only worsened with the advent of the ability to curate, via social media, how others see your life.
The Phone Calls EP is the third release in as many years from the Nashville-based band and the second as a trio. The EP manages to capture the urgency of their live show as expertly recorded by Mike Purcell at County Q in Nashville.
With this release, The By Gods show no signs of slowing down or settling in. Unlike an actual phone call, ignoring them is not an option.