Life in the So-Called Space Age |A&M, 1998|
1. Intro, 2. Rearrange, 3. From Your Mouth, 4. Can’t Come Down, 5. Alone Again, 6. Behavior Modification, 7. The Rush Is Loud, 8. Dress Rehearsal for Reproduction, 9. Happy?, 10. Vapors, 11. Medicated to the One I Love
God Lives Underwater (GLU) is a band formed in 1993 that had tried to capitalize on the industrial rock sound as shown on their 1995 debut album titled Empty. Fast forward a few years later and the band changes its sound to create the second album, Life in the So-Called Space Age.
As just mentioned, GLU changed their sound on this release. While still maintaining some industrial aspects, the band focuses more on a trippy-techno sound. From consistent and eerie keyboard leads to unsurprising drum beats, the album consists more on the electronica elements rather than anything else. David Reilly’s vocals still match the music perfectly, but they aren’t prominent unlike GLU’s first release.
The guitars are another example of the overshadowing that the keyboards and drum beats create. Songs such as “Alone Again” and “Dress Rehearsal for Reproduction” make good use of the guitar, the latter actually distorting it into chopped up pieces. Then there are songs such as “From Your Mouth” which doesn’t even contain a guitar, but in that song’s case, it’s not exactly needed.
The trip-hop influence is found on each track, and if a track doesn’t contain something special about it (such as the guitar in “Alone Again” or the eerie keyboard lead in “From Your Mouth), then it’ll sound mashed and repetitive with the rest of the album.
Overall, the majority of the songs aren’t noteworthy by any means. Yet, it’s still an improvement for GLU and the album can’t really be compared to anything else on the market right now. (Xenerki)
Empty |American Recordings, 1995|
1. Still. 2. All Wrong. 3. Fool. 4. Empty. 5. Don't Know How to Be. 6. No More Love. 7. 23. 8. We Were Wrong. 9. Weaken. 10. Tortoise. 11. Scared
God Lives Underwater (GLU for short) is a band formed by David Reilly and Jeff Turzo in 1993. After recruiting members Adam Kary and Andrew McGee, they released their major label debut, Empty. Rick Rubin produced this album, and in addition, is his first major label industrial rock album he's worked on.
In short summary, Empty is what I would personally name "the first wave of mainstream ‘90s industrial rock." Although more bands are to follow the likes of Ministry
, White Zombie
, and Machines of Loving Grace
, the first few artists pop up on the horizon. One of them is God Lives Underwater.
The opening track, "Still," is simply an opener. Although around 3 minutes in length and is fully-structured, it prepares the listener for the next song, "All Wrong." It's noticeable in both "All Wrong" and "Still" that Reilly's vocal range is definitely unique for the industrial rock genre. His ability to be melodic and almost grunge-like improves the songs.
After those two songs, the majority of the album becomes similar: melodic vocals, space-sounding keyboard leads (which seems out of place at times, such as the title track "Empty"), and mediocre guitar riffs. Yet, the song "No More Love" capitalizes on all 3 attributes. Everything just seems to fall in place within the song. The melodic vocals, the keyboard leads, and the guitar riffs. Nothing is mediocre in "No More Love" (which happens to be the album's lead single, as well).
"23" is a change of pace in the album. Its atmosphere is slow and smooth. Reilly can, without a doubt, deliver excellent vocals. "We Were Wrong" is the only song not completely written by Reilly and Turzo. Guitarist McGee chips in, and it's noticeable that the guitars are the dominant instrument in the song, which is cool nevertheless. Yet, at this point, I realized that the majority of the songs have the same sounding keyboard, which sounds very space-age. The keyboard simply starts to get repetitive towards the end of the album.
"Scared," the last track on the album, features an acoustic guitar and an atmospheric keyboard throughout the song, combined with Reilly's vocals (at least, until the end, when the other instruments are played for only about 25 seconds). It's a fitting end to the album.
Overall, God Lives Underwater can use some variety within their songs on this debut effort. A few standout tracks, which mainly features Reilly's vocal ability, saves the fall. (Xenerki, June 18, 2009)