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CD Review: God Lives Underwater: Up Off the Floor.

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I first heard this band way back in 1995. He song was No More Love and the album was the Johnny Mnemonic soundtrack. The sound intrigued me, a combination of electronics and standard rock instruments in a straight forward rock structure. I liked it enough to pick up their first album, a self-titled EP. This was followed up by Empty later the same year. This only fed my enjoyment of their music. Then, three years later, in 1998 they released Life in the So Called Space Age. Finally they seemed to be getting a little bit of popular notice as MTV picked up the video for From Your Mouth, and the radio play started to come. After that though, the band disappeared from the radar. I kept an eye out for any news of another release, but never came across anything until now. Right here in 2004, September 28 to be exact, will see the release of a new album, entitled Up Off the Floor.

Back in 2000, Jeff Turzo and David Reilly entered the studio to record the next God Lives Underwater album. After finishing recording for the album, their record label, 1500/Riffage, went under. This put the album on the shelf indefinitely. Now the album is going to see the light of day, being released by Locomotive Music/Megaforce Records.

I have listened to this album a few times now, and I have to say that I like it, a lot! They have a
sound which stands out from the crowd. I call it electro-rock. The songs are a natural progression from their previous releases. A strong combination of standard instruments with a techno twist. A sound that really stands out from the glut of pop-punk/garage bands that are clogging the radio waves. It’s time to make way for something unique.

It’s a shame that they could not capitalize on the success that was had with From Your Mouth, this is going to be like starting over. I hope they are up to the challenge and that something catches on. This is an album that needs to be heard.

As soon as I hit play I was hit with a mix of keyboards and driving guitars with a tight bass line and rhythmic drumming that is hard not to groove to. The song is entitled “White Noise” and is a great way to start the album off! The energy is kept high through the first three tracks, keeping the tempo up and strong. The pace slows a bit with “Whatever You Got.” Nice middle paced song showing a different side, reigning in the heaviness and turns up melody with David Reilly’s voice floating on top of swirling keyboards and open guitar chords. The album continues with a mix of driving songs and slower paced grooves. Whatever is on, it is always unique, never dull.

This is a great album, one that is easily accessible to mainstream audiences, yet different enough to draw fans from outside the mainstream. David’s voice is great, strong, immediate, insistent, yet vulnerable and emotive. The instrumentations, vary throughout from guitar driven rock, to the electronic influences.

Besides the great sound they have, the songwriting is top notch, the electro-rock sound is not a

crutch with which to hang their “uniqueness,” it is one stop on the way to good songwriting. Knowing when to reign it in or to put i all on the line. The key is David’s lyric writing which is thoughtful, introspective, soul-baring, and above all not your typical whiney pop material. He puts his soul into the writing. Following a cycle of aggression followed by a depression, ending with the appropriately titled “Positivity.”

Many of the songs are reminiscent of their previous albums, but not a repetition of what has come before. Although, I think Empty may be a stronger overall album, this one comes close, maybe with a few more listenings.

If you like rock music, or electronic music, or are just looking for something different, I would have to recommend you check out this album, or any of their previous work. It is nice to see a band that has been away for so long coming back, especially with a strong work such as this.
Highly Recommended.

It is due out on September 28, 2004.
You can order it here: Megaforce Records
Official Site: God Lives Underwater

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