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Godhead (Remastered)

Lowlife

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Album Review

Lowlife's third album was fraught with difficulties on the road to completion, with a proposed hookup with the Comsat Angels' Stephen Fellows as producer — an inspired and sympathetic combination — falling through due to label problems and attendant financing. More important was the departure of founding guitarist Stuart Everest, but in a stroke of luck his replacement was equally at home with the band's general sound — Hamish Mackintosh, better known as the atmospheric one-man act Fuel. His reflective backing vocals proved a fine contrast to Craig Lorentson's dark dramatics, and on balance Godhead continued the strengths of the group's earlier efforts, powerful, charging and aiming for a big, rich sound. In ways the band was even more on its own — the late '80s weren't the best time for the post-punk-inspired surge that drove the band from the start — but they kept on keeping on well. Songs like "Where I Lay, I'll Lie," with its calmer start and less theatrical delivery from Lorentson, and the gently swinging "Drowning Leaves" helped show the band's strengths weren't always concentrated in their full-on work, while "I the Cheated," with its pure piano and keyboard accompaniment for Lorentson's singing, shows a striking new approach for the group overall. Others, such as "Marjory's Dream," keep up the pace and energy without being as enveloping as past work — there's a lot less reverb for a start — instead finding a new balance that's often very attractive. [LTM's 2006 reissue contained half the songs from the hyper-limited 1989 release The Black Album, compiling demos for Godhead that featured Everest before his departure. Unsurprisingly sounding a bit more like the band's earlier releases, the quality of the demos is quite high, and hearing songs like "River of Woe" and "Where I'll Lay, I'll Lie" in fine alternate takes, as well as otherwise unheard songs like "The Beggar's Burning Bush" and "Moved to Tears," makes for an attractive bonus.]

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

Coming off like a dark hybrid of the Cocteau Twins and Joy Division/New Order, the Scottish band Lowlife was formed in 1985 by ex-Cocteau Twins (Garlands era) bassist Will Heggie and vocalist Craig Lorentson. Signed to the Nightshift label, the band debuted in 1985 with the six-song Rain EP. Their first full LP, Permanent Sleep, was released the following year. The Vain Delights 12" preceded the Diminuendo album in 1987, and another 12" release (Eternity Road) was out by the end of that year. 1988...
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Godhead (Remastered), Lowlife
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