Undertow by Blind Idiot GodRelease date: October 29, 2017
Label: Indivisible Music
Originally released in 1989, Blind Idiot God‘s second album Undertow saw the bands mixture of instrumental noise rock, dub, jazz, avant-garde, post hardcore and experimental metal gaining fans of all kinds of outsider music and art and the eclecticism of the band is unparalleled, this is a band that shared stages with artists as varied as Black Flag, Napalm Death, Sun Ra and Eekamouse after all. Nearly thirty years later and the album has been reissued and is set to blow people’s mind today as much as it did when it is released as it sounds just as out there today as it did when it first came out.
The fact that this is the case makes Undertow such a great album and hopefully the music of Blind Idiot God will be discovered by a whole new audience today. The band’s freakout jams are delivered with an eclecticism that borders on freeform jazz at times, but delivered with the controlled intensity and heaviness of noise rock and hardcore and the musical ability of the trio is second to none.
Listening to the album, it is easy to see the direct link that Blind Idiot God have with bands who came up well after the band had initially split up like Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge and Coalesce, with the same discordant grooves being utilized throughout although in a much more chaotic way with the latter bands. Although the music of Blind Idiot God is undoubtedly chaotic, they do it in a calm and collected manner such is their gift as musicians and fans of Dillinger and the like will definitely find music to enjoy here though too.
From the intense noise of ‘Drowning’ and the aptly named ‘Rollercoaster’ to the warped cover of Funkadelic’s ‘Alice In My Fantasies’, the blissed out dub of ‘Clockwork Dub’, ‘Major Key Dub’ and ‘Dubbing In The Sinai’ and the closing maelstrom of ‘Wailing Wall’ , this is a wonderfully vivid and eclectic album that begs to be listened and adored. It’s not always an easy listen, but it is one that rewards the listener when they put the time into it.
This reissue comes complete with some special bonus material including their collaboration with the great John Zorn on ‘Purged Specimen’ and a remixed version of their Henry Rollins collab ‘Freaked’ (a rarity for Blind Idiot God track as it features the intense vocals of Rollins over the top of their usual instrumental soundscapes), both of which are intriguing and interesting listens.
Blind Idiot God were a band (and still are as they reformed a couple of years ago with a new album entitled Before Ever After that should be checked out as well alongside their other earlier output) who were ahead of their time, as all the greatest bands are. But this reissue is a timely reminder that it is never too late to discover a band’s music and you can indulge in Blind Idiot God’s aural vision with this great album and discover or rediscover how good they are.