God Lives Underwater
Up Off The Floor
posted on 9/2004 By:
Alright, lets just get this out of the way from the get go. Yes, I know, you know, we all know, that this is not a metal album. It is being reviewed because Megaforce sent it to us for review, and we review what we are sent. If the idea of reading a review for a non-metal album is upsetting to you, please hit “Back” on your browser and read one of the many fine metal reviews written by one of my able colleagues.
If memory serves (and it may not, please forgive me if you’re a serious fan of the genre), the early days of industrial music were given birth by innovators such as Skinny Puppy, Einsturzende Neubaten, and Throbbing Gristle. The music was dark, noisy, and percussive. A genre was born, some fans were created, but unfortunately for the bands, very little money was made. The late 80’s and early 90’s saw the second wave industrial bands incorporate the heart of the early industrial movement into more traditional song structures, and meld them together with other genres. This formula was more commercially successful, for better or for worse. Of course, the most prominent names on this list are bands like Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and KMFDM. By the mid to late 90's a third wave of bands tried to replicate the success of these bands, often by adding a bit more commercial appeal. Bands like Filter, Gravity Kills, and God Lives Underwater represent this generation.
The earlier work of God Lives Underwater was more guitar centered and often a bit heavier. With their last album, 1998’s Life in the So-Called Space Age, the band moved to a more electronica focused sound, and have continued that style on Up Off the Floor. The result is for the most part a radio friendly industrial hard rock/alternative sound. The songs are driven by rhythm and grooving synths/programming, and the guitars are mostly used as support.
On the whole, for what it is, this album has a fair amount to offer. There are plenty of quality hooks and beats that will get you moving, and a decent amount of variety between songs. Nearly all the songs begin with a fair amount of promise, but unfortunately many settle in to a more predictable course for the verse, rather than picking up the pace or adding more sounds. The vocal performance is rather restrained, and like the music, I kept waiting for him to let loose a little and sing with a bit more power and passion. The subject matter is certainly serious enough, focusing on emotional spiraling and psychiatric hospitalization. Where is the anguish? Still, there are many solid moments, and stand out tracks include “Slip to Fall,” “72 Hour Hold” and “White Noise.”
If you’re a metal fan who is looking to add some industrial to your collection, I’d recommend releases by some of the other bands listed above. However, if you’re a serious fan of the genre this is worth at least looking into. It has its limitations, and is too radio friendly, but Up Off the Floor is still a decent listen.
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