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Power Tool Stigmata

Godhead - Power Tool Stigmata ©1997 Sol 3 Records
1. Gimp
2. Penetrate
3. Eleanor Rigby
4. Alone
5. Bleed
6. Fucked Up
7. Craving
8. Laura's Theme
9. Lies
10. Memorial
11. Headache Symphony
12. Suffer
13. Pride
14. Afterthoughts

If nothing else, the success of Nine Inch Nails has certainly spawned a huge generation of depressed musicians armed with keyboards, sequencers, and unhappy lyrics. To my ears, many of them are just a dime-a-dozen throwaway bands and upon listening to the first track, I was quite ready to add this CD to my shiny coasters collection. By the time they reached an extremely ill-advised and miserable cover of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" (which only proves you really shouldn't screw around with the legends), I was gnashing my teeth and dreading the remainder of the disc. However, the true Godhead shows up on "Alone" and the quartet redeems themselves in the eyes of the ghost of John Lennon and the spectre of that Trent character. Rather than sounding like a heavy metal band with a keyboard and somewhat cheesy drum programming, Godhead instead gets more introspective and lets the music breathe more openly. While many industrial hybrid bands tend to excel in their heavier moments, this band is actually much more intruiging when they tone things down. Singer Jason Miller has a voice that could easily mimic Trent Reznor's Pretty Hate Machine days, but it does have a quality that saves him from being a clone. On tracks like "Fucked Up" and "Pride", the well-arranged music and his emotional, powerful voice work exceptionally well. This is one of those CDs that they invented programming for...for the three or four derivative songs, I'll gladly skip over. But the remainder is an excellent hybrid of gothic tendencies and the better side of metal-influenced NIN industrial.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/1997

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2000 Years Of Human Error

Godhead - 2000 Years Of Human Error ©2001 Post Human/Priority Records
1. The Reckoning
2. I Sell Society
3. Inside You
4. Sinking
5. Tired Old Man
6. Break You Down
7. Penetrate
8. Backstander
9. Eleanor Rigby
10. 2000 Years Of Human Error
11. I Hate Today

After three fairly obscure albums under various small label umbrellas, Godhead has presumably hit the bigtime by signing on with Marilyn Manson's Post Human records as well as receiving Mr. Warner, ahem, Manson's personal input for 2000 Years of Human Error. And while Godhead is now striving to become the next big thing in electro-gotho-metal-rock, 2000 Years of Human Error is an entirely too polite record to do anything more than take up a good part of an hour. While the band may wish otherwise, this is a group of lads whom you'd feel safe in allowing them to crash on the floor of your mom's house. Moreover, they sound so polite and kind that they may even do her dishes, dust the bookshelves, take out the trash and fix the darned showerhead that has been spraying askew.

2000 Years of Human Error does not differ a whole long from the band's last full length, Power Tool Stigmata. Godhead plays a style that is reminiscient of early Nine Inch Nails with a healthy dose of guitar overdrive amidst non-threatening programming and synthesizers that hint slightly at early Skinny Puppy's danceability factor. The one major letdown on this album is that there are no powerful songs that truly harness the best tendencies of this band. The last album had a few rather strong numbers with incredible melodies and singing from band leader Jason Miller. 2000 Years of Human Error has none of that. The songs are, at best, just average. Worse yet, the band sees fit to rerecord two songs that appeared on Power Tool Stigmata: "Penetrate" and the dreadful cover of "Eleanor Rigby" (which isn't nearly so dreadful here, fortunately). Labelhead Brian Warner also feels the need to record some vocals on "Break You Down" (which sounds like a number that Trent Reznor would have rejected for Broken for being too sedated in its angst), which of course is designed to encourage young Manson fans to check out Godhead.

Godhead has spent many years on small labels and presumably just as tiny of tours to get where they are now. Chances are 2000 Years of Human Error is already a big hit with the legions of black clad brooding teenagers. Unfortunately, my earlier experiences with Godhead's music suggest this is a lesser record than the band is capable of producing. It's too unengaging and far from being menacing to do the band justice. With luck, Godhead's next release will revert the band back to being much more of a legitimate affront, rather than coming across as a Marilyn Manson trinket.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2001

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