Friday, November 06, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 163 - God Lives Underwater - Empty

By: March

Album - Empty
Artist - God Lives Underwater
Key Players - Adam Kary - drums. Andrew McGee - guitar. David Reilly - lead vocals. Jeff Turzo - keyboards/synth.
Produced By - GLU and Gary Richards (Exec. Producer Rick Rubin)

Release Date - September 12, 1995

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I bought the cd for a dollar, replacing a pretty dusty cassette version. It has been a very long time indeed. I think I need to dust more.

Overview - This was the major label debut, and first full length record from Pennsylvania based God Lives Underwater. The band started in 1993, released an ep in 1995 and then later released this record. With the backing of Rick Rubin the band would blend styles and sounds of David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and other "electronica" styled bands they'd storm commercial rock radio and a few of the tracks were used on movie sound tracks. The band would go on to release a few more records and ep's before disbanding in 2005.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - "Still" opens the record with a loopy, yet playful sounding keyboard part before the drums and guitar comes in. The guitar is distorted and the drums keep a basic back beat. Reilly sings in a sort of nasal whine, but its effective for the style of music. He sings a little monotone as well, but will pound out the vocals at later times. One of the albums radio singles comes in "All Wrong". The keyboard intro phases over the guitars and drums. The band has a few instrumental breaks and then they come chugging back in. Reilly has a little more flash in his voice and pushes it some. The band lays into the keyboard loop with the guitar riffs washing over it all. "Fool" has a buzzier guitar and more of a hard driving drum line at the intro. Some keyboards wash over before the vocals begin. Reilly is more gruff on this and the keyboard switches to a more playful mode, before the guitars come in and restore order of the track. The title track "Empty" follows, utilizing a familiar keyboard tone and a buzzy guitar once more. The band hasn't spread its wings too much to this point, but come the chorus they do try out a little different direction with a more full sung chorus but it could use more of a backing vocal section to fill it out some. The music though feels like it was locked in a looped segment. "Don't Know How To Be" returns to the sound of the first couple of tracks, with more a focus on the buzzy guitar. When I worked as an intern at WBCN the jock I worked most for used the intro (actually the ending loop is the same) to "No More Love" as a music bed. It presses rewind on my life button every time I hear it. It was good times. This is a perfect example of the band in its strongest form. Focused, punchy and rocking. Great stuff. "23" follows and is a darker, more mellow track that the prior tracks. It is the first foray into a mellow sound on the record for the band. "We Were Wrong" returns to the vibe of the earlier tracks on the record. The guitars and drums return with a fury and the band sounds to be pushing one another. "Weaken" is one of the longer tracks on the record and slowly starts off with a looping keyboard part under the vocals before the guitars come in. They are big power chords, but it doesn't push the song to be any quicker. The band finds a heavier groove as it progresses. By this point in the record you begin to realize there has been no guitar solos, and no one member is show cased above each other. It might not be technically challenging, but the band knows its place and each player sticks with their role. "Tortoise" opens with keyboards over the electric back beat before it slips in to a solid groove. Another strong representation of the bands overall sound. The album closes with "Scared" is an acoustic lead track. The electronics are gone and the band is stripped down. A unique choice to close off the record.

Where are they now?
- The band broke up in 2005 and moved on to other projects. Turzo continues to write and perform under the moniker "Wired All Wrong" and when they performed live McGee would perform with them. David Reilly died in his sleep in October of 2005 from complications of a coma brought on by bleeding, as a result of a tooth infection. He was only 34.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Saw the band on two occasions. The first was February 23, 1996 in an support slot for Spacehog (FDF Looks at Resident Alien). Also on the bill that night was Mr.Mirainga. My buddy Jason and I went and were impressed with all the bands. The other time was part of the WBCN River Rave at the Tweeter Center/Great Woods/Comcast Center in Mansfield on May 31, 1998. The band was on the festival bill with the likes of Green Day, Offspring, Soul Coughing, and Semisonic.

FDF Overall Take - At the time, this was a genre of music that seemed to be getting pushed to the public conscious. It was a hybrid of pop/rock with some industrial flair. It lasted not too long, and few bands were left standing in the end. It is not a terrible collection by any means and has a few decent radio singles.

Fan site here and myspace

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The MP3's have been removed.

All Wrong
No More Love

Tracks taken from "Empty" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


Post a Comment

<< Home