Another one-album wonder, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin put out one of the great modern rock albums of the ’90s, God Fodder – a masterpiece of catchy hooks, painful insights and thick, chunky guitar – then for all intents and purposes, went away.
God Fodder announces itself from the fade-in of the opening song, “Kill Your Television.” The dueling basses of Alex and Mat (band members are known by their first names) frenetically and percussively thrum, while Rat’s guitar thrashes through a song of punk-like speed and intensity, full of difficult stops and starts, which band and producer handle with panache and verve.
The bouncy single, “Grey Cells Green,” almost obscures the rueful insight of singer Jonn [Penney] that when your desire has been found, it will be found to have come from within. A great loping melody is driven by the basses (used for melody in the vein of Yes’s Chris Squire or New Order’s Peter Hook), guitar and masterfully pumping drums.
Risking murk with a wall of fuzzy guitars, dueling basses and stomping drums, producer Jessica Corcoran achieves a beautiful separation and balance that keeps Jonn’s vocals at the heart of the powerful mix on steadily fine material. I still love this album, but for the band the magic leaked away never to return.