Bottomless Pit – Hammer of the Gods

4 out of 5

Produced by: Greg Norman (recorded by)

Label: Comedy Minus One

Oddly, I felt really guilty about listening to Bottomless Pit’s debut, Hammer of the Gods, upon its release.  The death of Silkworm’s drummer, Michael Dahlquist, was a big shock to old emotionless me, and I’d somewhat resigned myself to not expecting any more music from the remaining group members.

I don’t know why.  Because of course they still had their own musical muses, and they took the most respectful path of channeling them, by starting up a new group.  …Perhaps it was that BP sounded so much like Silkworm, and that Hammer was a pretty amazing debut… like it was sacrilege to enjoy music still in the same vein.

So, yeah, Bottomless Pit sounds like Silkworm and Hammer of the Gods is an amazing debut.  But, y’know, it’s not the same band.  There are undeniable notes from various SKWM eras, but Bottomless Pit tends to favor a more melodic sound overall, with somewhat more introspective lyrics versus Silkworm’s narratives.  While I mightve only pushed Firewater or Lifestyle onto rock fans, Hammer has a near pop edge to tracks, and a beautifully revert recording that keeps the songs light and free feeling, even during a blistering solo.

For this reason, the last and longest track – Sevens Sing – is sort of a momentum-thudding experiment, bringing in a very treated (if not electronic) drum sound and sticking to a more stagnant beat; the general sound is a clash with the otherwise organic flow of the album.

Really, beneath my guilt, I was thanking my lucky stars for such great music, and tickled pink that the new band sounded so fresh while also sounding familiar.  And more years and albums later… dang.  It’s awesome that there’s so much good stuff out there to listen to.