BLACK GOD vocalist Rob Pennington takes us track by track through the Louisville, Kentucky band's new EP for No Idea Records, II.

“Cast You Out”

This is the first banger that Ryan wrote for this new EP. This song is not about trashing someone's religious faith but more about expressing my anger with the nefarious activities of faith leaders. I personally believe that hope and faith, whether it be in gods or the deterministic patterns within nature, helps fill the spaces in our lives. In the song, I reflect on the crimes of church and how these actions can potentially "shape wonder into hateful regret." I have much contempt for those that strike out against others from behind robes of the clergy.

“Broken Branches”

You know, at 40 years old, I sometimes regret the "Us vs. Them" rhetoric I have used over the years. Sure, it is easy to be angry at others but in my opinion this world need less division. If people would act with the end goal of being closer to each other they could reject the team membership mentality that drives humanity. Universal health care would be a "no brainer," and war would just not be a solution. I know this sounds a little hippie, but I actually believe it's about being pragmatic.

“Everyone’s A Friend”

Man, my favorite part of this song is Nick's back up vocals during the chorus. He is such a great singer and I just love the rich tones in his voice. We write songs so fast, I don't often think about back up vocals until recording. We asked Nick to wing it and he killed it. This song describes my growing discomfort with the sea change from face to face interaction to web-based social networks. This song is not necessarily an indictment of Facebook or any other media. I am certainly plugged in, but am also aware of a discomfort in not knowing the price I am paying for my broad connectivity.

“Quit It”

This song is really fun to play and though the lyrics lack sophistication, they really charge me up. I have been influenced by the words of so many strong punk women (e.g., Adrienne Droogas, Amanda MacKaye, Kate Hurowitz, Daisy Rooks) and the topic of the oppression of women always seems to creep into my lyrics. In the studio my wife Becca (who plays in the band Julie of the Wolves) and Ben's girlfriend Mary sang back up vocals.


Hey, I tend to believe in people, and this song is an anthem for the little guy. "Don't listen to what they say. You need nothing, you lack nothing."

“Your Manifest”

Writing about this song makes me smile, because it took forever for me to not screw up the beginning. We have a lot of fun in BG. In practice, Ryan would always do these the false starts and then just crack up when I flopped. The song is really about constants. The world is always painted as crumbling around us, because it gets us going. Certainly, contexts change for people, but I am discouraged when people jump the track and run toward polarizing elements. For example, I am surprised that fear has driven people to give Rick Santorum any attention at all. It is bizarre to me. alt