Now, having put the band in the deep freeze well before COVID-19, Godwin is unleashing his solo work on the world. His opening pitch is the five-song EP Hog Jowl, released just last week, and right out of the gate it’s clear that the Ultrasounds are absent.
The title song still sports Godwin's throaty drawl, ragged but right. But the key difference is that, unlike the Ultrasounds, this is all Godwin, all the time. Most one man band records (except, perhaps, for those by multi-instrumentalists like Stevie Wonder or New Memphis Colorways) must needs sacrifice some of the drive of a full band, and this is no exception. Godwin does a serviceable job on bass and drums, naturally, but the lack of push-and-pull, of different players vying for a position within the beat, means that there’s a certain wooziness to the proceedings.
- James Godwin
Nothing is as unpredictable as the very un-Ultrasounds-sounding closer, “Only I Know.” As an acoustic guitar lazily strums airy chords, Godwin’s voice exposes his tender side more than ever before. The shambolic musical reverie is a refreshing turn, spotlighting his most intimate lyrics to date. In all, as the song says, “it feels like it should.” Quarantine or no, this new approach gives free rein to Godwin’s imagination and promises many new surprises to come.