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Blind Idiot God - Undertow (Reissue)

Blind Idiot God
Undertow (Reissue)
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 10 January 2018, 10:41 AM

New York City’s Experimental/Dub/Post Hardcore instrumental trio BLIND IDIOT GOD is a veteran act in the music industry. They formed in St. Louis, Missouri in 1982, and the original lineup recorded three LPs together. “Undertow” is the second here, re-issued from 1989, and contains twelve tracks. Reissues from the 1980’s are always an interesting undertaking. At the time, you had the classic Metal bands from the 70’s, the NWOBHM movement in full flourish, Glam Metal had taken over the radio and TV, Thrash was born, and Death was not too far off. Of course, Punk Music was popular as well. Steve Harris always dubbed it as “metal music, played poorly.” But I disagree. Punk had its own deserved place in music and the 80’s was a great time for it. Let’s get down to the album here.

Twelve instrumental songs await the listener. The variation presented is probably the best feature of the album. There are fast paced scorchers, slower groovy tracks, and an amalgam of various styles that encompass the Rock and Punk genres overall. “Clockwork Dub” for example has a sneaky, ethereal sound that moves like a shadow through the evening, almost too dark to see. “Drowning,” by contrast, is much more of a raucous Punk sounding track, with weighted and aggressive guitar riffs, and a despondent sound, akin to some of BLACK FLAG’s more depressive outings, leaving you dejected. “Alice in my Fantasies” has that more classic SEX PISTOLS type sound, with a bossy and fast moving guitar riff and some nimble instrumentation from bass and drum work. A bluesy guitar solo caps off the sound nicely.

As you might expect from the title, “Rollercoaster” is a track that speeds up and slows down, led by the percussion skills of Ted Epstein. The riffs are odd; connecting on minor chords and chaotic with a fullness. “Wailing Wall” is another crunchy track, with plenty of dissonant guitar riffs and some brow beating bass and drums. Again, the chords stay in the minor key which seems to butt sharply against your sense of melody. A well done and unique song. Then we come to the tracks with featured artists. First, legendary Henry Rollins in the song “Freaked.” He has such an unmistakable sound and style; a snarl that is his and his alone. It has a healthy groove and Rollins puts his stamp down hard here. Last, we have “Purged Specimen” with John Zorn. Anything goes here, with a flurry of guitar notes and a saxophone to boot.

Overall, a solid outing from a time when the Rock genre was greatly diversifying. Instrumental songs are songs that sometimes connect more with your animalistic side, and this album does. But, there are also more mysterious and suspenseful tracks that change the mood along the way.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Sawtooth
2. Clockwork Dub
3. Atomic Whip
4. Watch Yer Step
5. Drowning
6. Major Key Dub
7. Alice in my Fantasies
8. Rollercoster
9. Dubbing in the Sinai
10. Wailing Wall
11. Freaked (Ft. Henry Rollins)
12. Purged Specimen (Ft. John Zorn)
Andy Hawkins - Guitar (1981-present)
Tim Wyskida - Drums (2001-present)
Will Dahl - Bass (2012-present)

Gabriel Katz - Bass (1981-2012)
Ted Epstein - Drums (1981-1992)
Record Label: Indivisible Music


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