God Lives Underwater is Up Off The Floor
J. Gordon
9/11/2004 8:39:01 PM

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from God Lives Underwater, one of the rulers of the post-grunge/industrial movement in the mid-1990s with their self-titled EP in 1995, followed by Empty [American Records], and Life In the So-Called Space Age [A&M Records] in 1998. Fans eagerly awaited the Up Off the Floor sessions, recorded in 2000. But the band suffered the same story as so many: they were at the mercy of the conglomerate monster as it ate up smaller labels and dropped great artists not assuring instantaneous, multi-platinum sales and Teen Beat covers. GLU’s label at the time, 1500/Riffage, went under and their recordings were held in a years-long contractual prison, followed by the hell of being a free agent with no money in a big-bucks radio world that had since turned its back on industrial alternative music.

Enter Locomotive Music/Megaforce Records, finally lifting Up Off The Floor up off the floor (release date September 28, 2004). While not as sonically ground-breaking as their earlier albums, one has to give them a break. After all, it’s already almost five years old. Regardless, Up Off The Floor is very, very cool with heavy, hooky guitar, layered synthesizer and loops, and dark, powerful lyrics.

At times, lead singer David Reilly’s voice isn’t as strong as on earlier CDs, and Up Off The Floor’s lead track, “White Noise” is an example of this. But this album’s music is so full-on and cool that such small details matter little. Anyway, in songs like “History” and “72 Hour Hold,” it’s clear that Reilly’s still got it—and then some. He’s hard, harmonic, and heavy as he needs to be, and he’s a master of getting the message across as much in tone as actual spoken words.

It’s not clear if the songs were changed or tweaked since the original 2000 recordings, but the quote from Reilly on the label’s accompanying press release gives an explanation for the pain and distress permeating the fuzz and groove: “Between the record company problems, to my fiancée’s passing, which were about a week apart, I consider it amazing that my suicide or eventual death did not follow.”

He goes on to give quotes about attempting sobriety and failing miserably. Bummer. And, given the change of the Billboard Top 40 over the last ten years, it’s also a bummer that there probably won’t be a radio future again for God Lives Underwater--because this is some of the best music out today.

Also David Reilly will be releasing his first solo CD called "INSIDE e.p." through corporate punishment records.


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