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Gravity Kills Superstarved

By Alicia Downs, Pure Rock Patroller
Wednesday, March 20, 2002 @ 12:06 AM


(Sanctuary Records)

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Gravity Kills became a household name in 1996 after breaking onto the scene with their hit single "Guilty." Since then the two have become symbiotically linked. The success of the single "Guilty" alone spawned more then a half a million in record sales of their debut album. But as far as Gravity Kills was going over the past six years it appeared more and more that they were going to become one-hit wonders.

Subsequent tracks released from their debut album did not perform, nor did their sophomore effort Perversion. The album that spawned a legion of fans that faithfully call them "whores" would see their band soon leaving TVT records on a wing and a prayer.

Fast forward to six years later, present day. We have Gravity Kills still around, presently doing a tour with former label-mates Sevendust and taking things "one day at a time." The efforts to find a new label found them settling with independent label Sanctuary Records for the release of their third album Superstarved.

Superstarved, as a title, relates interestingly enough to the new music. Gravity Kills seems to have regained their hunger and desire for music that was seen in the days when they were still green. Superstarved plays off of the vibe of a band at a crossroads of their career, stuck in the paradigm of starting over with some core ingredients but not from scratch.

The album opens with "Love Sex and Money"-- and really what three better things are there to open an album with? The only hesitance here is that from the produced vocals to the gritty guitar and drums, it sounds a bit too NIN-esque. It really was not surprising though once you note the production credit to Martin Atkins who could easily list industrial-pop-metal guru as well as former NIN drummer on his resume.

Next track "Take It All Away" allows for something brilliant... a new association of the phrase separate from the overplayed Puddle of Mudd song "Blurry." "Take It All Away" plays off of heavier rock fusions into the industrial sounds. And for the most part the heavier rock feel dominates a good majority of the album throughout tracks "Fifteen Minutes," "Enemy," and first single "One Thing."

Some moments in Superstarved are greater than others. Track nine holds one of the bigger surprises of the lot. Gravity Kills, known for covering Depeche Modeís "Personal JesusĒ live acoustically at shows, made the decision to record it on the album. Despite the sacred cow that is Depeche Mode, I can honestly say that Gravity Kills pulls it off making it the guilty pleasure of the album.

And true to industrial-pop-metal core, Superstarved is not without the sexual innuendoes peaking through orgasmic guitar moments and overproduced vocal stylings. The teasing sense of Scheelís vocals from smooth to dirty and aggressive means that the album could fit into the background of an S&M rave as easily as your car stereo. Think I am joking? Listen to track "Wide Awake" with the coy teases of lines, "Like a junkie on his knees" and "It turns you on; it gets you off." If you get off on the likes of NIN and Ministry, then Scheelís toying can quench your hard-on for industrial-pop-metal that could double for a fetish soundtrack.

Superstarved offers a seasoned flavor that you can taste in every pounding moment and penetrating lyric.

Superstarved will be released March 19, 2002 on Sanctuary Records. More information can be found at the bandís web site: GravityKills.com

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