Monday, June 19, 2017

A Headbanger's Retrospective - GOD LIVES UNDERWATER's EMPTY

A Headbanger's Retrospective
Looking back at a first listen - God Lives Underwater - EMPTY

It was a late Sunday afternoon in October many years ago that I first had the opportunity to hear God Lives Underwater's album EMPTY. It sticks with me for several reasons. I was working at the time in a really shitty job as a furniture inspector. Getting up at suck-a-clock in the morning to run my hands beneath the surface of sofas and break up arguments between two retired ladies who had differing opinions on how to call out minor nicks on wooden furniture reminded me daily of how fucked up my job situation was. After all, I had an art degree that was gaining as much dust upon it as the clearance furniture in the back of the chips and dents room in that said furniture store.

Cut to that Sunday where I told my manager that I was gifted a ticket to a convention (HP LOVECRAFT Convention) in Salem and that I really needed to leave my Sunday shift early to head up there in a timely manner. Sunday was the day we'd sit in the office fending off calls from customers about how the delivery dude tore the molding off their front entry while carrying in a brand new armoire. Yeah, I had much better things to do that day. As my buddy Craig pulled up to my house, I handed him a copy of Six Feet Under's first Graveyard Classics. We spent the next hour laughing at and sometimes head banging to that album. I'm sure there were several cds between all four of us that we tossed into my friends stereo that day but not much comes to mind now, except one.

After a full day of rabble rousing with fellow Lovecraft fans (and stealing a wool hat from a dude who wouldn't give me the time of day because he was filming a commercial and I couldn't be late for the convention...another story entirely), my pal Tom handed over God Lives Underwater's EMPTY from the back seat. He let me check out the cover which had really peaked my interest. The cover depicted a photo of a statue of Jesus with arms stretched out submerged under water. The band's sound was really unique. With a mix of industrial riffage, vocals that ranged from early Mike Patton'esque spaz to a Trent Reznor'esque snear and digital bleeps, God Lives Underwater really put together a sound of their own. As my buddy Vampyre Mike would call it, God Lives Underwater were of the "Light Industrial" genre. The second track "ALL WRONG" really hooked me in. The vibe reminded me of Stabbing Westward which I was really into at the time. As the album played out Empty became an essential soundtrack for a long ride that included passing ancient cemeteries situated along the side of the road as we headed out of town. As the hue of late afternoon faded into night, that first memory of listening to EMPTY would forever cement itself as the perfect bookend to a great day hanging out with friends who were all into the same underground horror fiction and music. If you haven't checked it out, do so. Being that the band is long gone with only a few albums to their credit, it shouldn't be hard to pick up their catalogue and enjoy it for yourself.

Make sure to also "Like, Share and Subscribe" to my pal Vampyre Mike's Youtube channel. Here is his own retrospective on God Lives Underwater.

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