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December 2, 2023

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God Lives Underwater
Life in the So-Called Space Age (1500/A&M)

By: Joshua Porter

In 1993 God Lives Underwater released a self-titled EP, which mainly went altogether unnoticed, except to eager fans of the industrial underground. The band, (led by David Reilly and Jeff Turzo, and assisted by instrumentalist's Adam Kary and Andrew Mcgee) released its debut full length album Empty, in 1995.

The album basically followed in the footsteps of the EP, which was centered on basic song structures using guitar oriented songs, electric drum beats and strange space like beeps and noises. However the album was a step above the EP and was very good for now out of business American Records, who had worked with Lords of Acid, Slayer, Danzig, and industrial pioneers Skinny Puppy for their final album The Process.

Empty, remained in the underground despite modest hits "No More Love", which also appeared on the 93 EP, and "All Wrong", which was aired on MTV's late night "120 minutes". The album, although far from a bestseller, was very well written and became a fav among underground industrial fans.

1998, GLU releases the single "From Your Mouth", which received fair airplay among radio stations, and eventually MTV. The release date for the album was pushed back several times in hopes for a successful release through massive airplay of the now hit single.

Life in the So-Called Space Age is a far cry from Empty. It wouldn't be fair not to call this album industrial, but it would also not be fitting to call it just this. The songs are far more textured and less guitar oriented. In fact, little or no guitars are heard on the album, the songs find their heavy points through a Skinny Puppy type industrial style. The album also has its share of acoustic melodies, while Empty had only one purely soft track, "23". Reilly and Turzo have obviously grown in exploration with electronics. The arrangements are complicated and original, varying from drum n' bass, to breakbeat, to pure industrial, to just....strangely interesting.

Fans of the band will be surprised, but not disappointed. The band has grown musically and explores a whole new genre in electronic music variations. The album jumps from one curious style to another, the end track much like that of Trent Reznor's work, and the acoustic tracks peacefully using industrials elements in a sound that is simply...creepy.

The album's track's bravely escape the basic song structure, completely allowing a creative hold to take over the music. With the hit "From Your Mouth" a catchy breakbeat tune, and songs like "The Rush Is Loud" taking hold of dark industrial. The acoustics mellow with deep throbs and crunch's on tracks like "Cant Come Down" and "Happy?". The CD is an extremely creative exploration into the variables of a few keyboards and drum machines.

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