Hammer of Gods
After the murder of Michael Dalquist and his friends, by an over-privileged, suicidal Ford Mustang driving, wanna be stripper/ “model,” the surviving members of the band stated that Silkworm would cease to exist. I was doubly heart broken, first and most importantly for the tragic death of an extremely talented drummer and and all an round great guy, from what I have ascertained, but second because it would also mark the end of the collaboration of Andy Cohen & Tim Midget. This duo is the best song writing team for a rock band since Lennon & McCartney, in fact I will say they are better than the Beatles (Is that the equivalent of claiming a band is bigger than Jesus?).
Imagine my joy when I heard about the collaboration of Cohen/Midget in a new project called Bottomless Pit. This album quite simply stated is a masterpiece on par with any of the great works of Silkworm i.e. In The West, Firewater, or even L’ajre. All of Silkworm's work is filled with naked exploration of the intersections of the familiar, the social, the psychological, and the cultural, but this time the examinations of nuanced emotions are rawer and the tragedy real.
The disc opens with “Cardinal Movements.” It could be a classic Firewater era song, simple direct lyrics, “When you know they won't show up, When you think it might rain, When you get it in your mind to live again.” with gut-wrenching choruses, “ Those dreams are never ending. I know it is always hard to hear. Sometimes they're good sometimes they're bad, We always want some better way to say it, Sometimes it's bests to lay it bare.” The drummer had some big shoes to fill, but he holds his own admirably.
”Repossession” hits home hard, “Do you ever feel like you're going crazy from the inside out?” The answer is yes, yes, yes! After this fucked up fall the “inside” has a totally different meaning for me. The soaring music provides the clue that this song is not about giving up, it is about holding on. This song gets me every time. The song ends with this advice, “Sometimes you got to take control of your mind,” That is easier said than done, but comforting none the less. “Leave the Light On” is another heartbreaker.
The one song that deals directly with the tragedy is “Dead Man’s Blues.” Its opening salvo is, “I lay in the street, the cars run over me, but I am a tough piece of meat.” Then the plea of “People you got to be careful, you know not what you do.” The bass and drums chug along the song to its blistering conclusion.
The ending song “Seven Sings” with its sputtering drum machine seems to be a tribute to Michael. If it is, it is a beautiful one. The bass rolls along with the drum machine, trumpet, real drummer and sweet guitar lines. It reminds me of Sleeps with Angels era Neil Young. Violins join the mix. “I can only hope, I can leave you now, no, no, no.” While the tragedy is great and the loss is real, this music heals. (Comedy Minus One) (Dan Cohoon)