Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Despair Of David Reilly

Back in the mid to later years of High School my favorite band was the overly depressing Industrial Rock unit Stabbing Westward. There was absolutely no question in my mind and they eclipsed Nine Inch Nails & Marilyn Manson (Both prior favorites) in my opinion. Years would pass and my interest in the band would lessen and lessen, due to both growth and my heavy overplaying of the bands 4 albums. Even the recent announcement of a reunion tour merely sparked interest for a few days and then I no longer really cared. Yes, I will go if it happens, mostly for nostalgia's sake, but it still finds it way at best midway up my interest plateau.

When I was younger, there were other Industrial/Electronic Rock bands that made waves in one way or another that crossed my listening path. Several I liked, several I didn't care for. Of the ones I liked, there were such bands as Econoline Crush, Gravity Kills, Pitchshifter, Filter, Godhead, VAST & Zeromancer. Other bands I heard, but lacked any real interest in, such as Machines Of Loving Grace, KMFDM, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, 16Volt, Depeche Mode and a little group from Pennslyvania called God Lives Underwater. Now, I still think very low of KMFDM, Ministry & Skinny Puppy, but the rest I at least like.

Now if you're familiar with the last band I mentioned, God Lives Underwater, then you know the name David Reilly and you already could have guessed what this entry was going to be at least somewhat about. Good for you, now shut up and keep reading!

While in my heavy Industrial/Electronic Rock hunting phase, someone who knew I really liked Stabbing Westward supplied me with a few tracks from God Lives Underwater, whose name I had previously heard mentioned, but I was unfamiliar with the bands material or what they even really sounded like. I was supplied with their lone hit 'From Your Mouth' (If anyone watched MTV in the 90's you probably saw this video, which displayed a reverse video of a man eating hot dogs. How gloomy!), a David Bowie cover in 'Fame' and a couple other tracks which I don't recall at the moment. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. Infact, I straight out did not like it, especially the 'Fame' cover.

Years would pass and my musical library would increase and for some reason that I cannot remember, I decided to give this band of Electro-Rockers a second chance, as I had just seen that their long delayed new album (Which would be their final album, titled "Up Off The Floor") had been leaked onto the internet and I scooped it up. What I would hear would be a bit more of a different band altogether and fairly quickly my previous impressions of the band were diminished. Now, the first two tracks on the album, 'White Noise' and 'Tricked', caught my attention, but it was a song near the end of the album called 'Miss You More Than Anything' (How could I not immediately dart to a track named that ?) that put the nail in the coffin for me. I was sold. It would be a while before I actually further explored the rest of the bands albums, but I really enjoyed "Up Off The Floor" (And I don't fucking care how many of you GLU fanboys and fangirls don't like it. You can suck it!) and I listened to it on a semi-regular basis.

Some more years would pass and it was around this time when I became an overnight grocery stocker. A boring, monotonous job which I would spend 8 hours of with my headphones on. Hey, at least there was a plus there! But it was during this time when I got more of a chance to listen to a lot of the music I didn't have enough time to explore during the daylight hours of working a normal workshift. It was during this time when I found myself listening to God Lives Underwater's second release, "Empty". Unbeknownst to me, this album had a couple of minor hits on it, I had just never heard them (Mostly because I missed the mid 90's Alternative wave by a few years). This album struck further chords with me with the song '23', which I felt spoke directly to me at the time (And I still really like the song and feel some relation to the lyrics here and there.). I mean, really, how could a moderately depressed and single 21 year old not find comfort in the following ?

I'm breathing the air. the air I always breathe.
I don't have a lot. I want someone to share it with me.
I really only want a few things. They've all been taken away.
What does the next life bring? I just want to feel okay.
I'm searching forever. For someone or something.
I want to feel high. I want someone to love me.
I've spent 23 years now. Trying to get by.
Other people make it day to day. I still wonder why.
I really only had a few things. They all turned to tears.
One tried to kill me. The other kept me here.
I'm still here.

I mean, really. But yeah, so '23' was another shock to my system at the time, along with other album cuts in 'No More Love', 'All Wrong' & 'Empty'. It was around this time that I finally spun "Life In The So-Called Space Age" and although I find it to be the weakest of their 3 full lengths (Their first release was a self titled EP, which I as well enjoy), it is a good album. This album does though have my 3rd favorite GLU song in 'Happy?', which I feel fits perfectly alongside '23' and 'Miss You More Than Anything'.

I was unaware at this time (Remember, God Lives Underwater had been broken up for a little while by this point) that David Reilly, GLU's singer, had passed away in October of 2005. I was also unaware that right before he died, he had pretty much completed his second solo album (Hell, I didn't even know he had made a first one) and that it wouldn't be until early 2010 that the album would finally see the light of day. One day in 2009 I had remembered seeing something about a friend of David's writing a book about his experiences with him and in the midst of a minor GLU kick that I was on, I spent some extra money and bought the book along with all the extra things he was including in the highest tier package (Some bootlegs, an acoustic solo show David did and a couple of interviews).

The book, which although not a God Lives Underwater biography, went into a lot of emotional detail surrounding David and this writers affiliation and long standing friendship with the musician. I tend to get wrapped up in well written books anyways, but this one was an especially hard read as I began to feel connections with the people in the story and everything leading up to his young death at age 34. There's something that adds an extra aura of sorrow when you're listening to a singer who you really like who is no longer a part of this realm. Death doesn't bother me all too much most of the time, but sometimes it can strike a nerve and in this situation... it did.

After I finished the book (I went through it in like 3 days, I could not bring myself to put it down until I was just too tired to look at words anymore, heh.), I finally got around to checking out the extra material sent to me. The first thing I checked out (And still my favorite) was the recording of David Reilly's solo acoustic show, which showed him playing both solo material and GLU songs. I enjoyed the song 'Whatever You Got' prior to hearing this show, but it wasn't a favorite and I tended to go past it in favor of other songs while listening to the band. However, it was during this set where he couldn't get himself past the first line of the song after 3 attempts because he would get choked up due to a line in the song finding relation to his recently killed girlfriend. After hearing this, listening to the song has never been the same experience and it although a very depressing scenario, it added a whole new dimension to the track that I had not previously grasped.

A few months later (I had actually forgotten about this being mentioned to me), a copy of his second solo album, "How Humans R(x)" came to me in the mail from the book writer. I got one of 100 actual copies of the album and it will never leave my collection. Very exciting for me, leave me alone about it! Anyways, the album absolutely blew me away (I had heard his first album, which was a mere 6 tracks, and although it was good, it didn't really strike that big of a chord with me). Yeah, that's it! But yeah, the first actual song on the album ('My Til Tomorrow') easily became one of my favorite songs ever after a mere 5 times hearing it. It's really that good (To me). The rest of the album is solid for the most part and there are a heavy amount of good songs which speak to me on an emotional level, which I can relate to and see clearly. I love that about songs, I don't care if no one else does.

That's pretty much the end of my tale here. God Lives Underwater went from a band I quickly dismissed to possibly my favorite band out of the entire Electronic/Industrial Rock spectrum and David Reilly became one of my favorite singers/songwriters. The end! Oh yeah and per usual, you get some music relating to the entry below. Enjoy it!

David Reilly - 'My Til Tomorrow' (From his 2010 release "How Humans R(x)")

God Lives Underwater - '23' (From their 1995 release "Empty")

God Lives Underwater - 'Miss You More Than Anything' (From their 2004 release "Up Off The Floor")

David Reilly - 'Crazier Than Me' (From his 2010 release "How Humans R(x)")

God Lives Underwater - 'All Wrong' (From their 1995 release "Empty")

God Lives Underwater - 'Fly On The Windscreen' (From a Depeche Mode Tribute Album)

No comments:

Post a Comment