Industrial rock went from deep underground content to full-blown mainstream commerciality back in the 1990s, but this shift in public acceptance didn’t stop a lot of the left-field acts from drifting away from the new trend and closer to their own aesthetical roots. Fast-forward to 2021, where the likes of Not My God are determined to give us as crushing yet melodic a show of pulverizing industrial strength in their new single and music video “Ashes,” essentially coupling the best features in popular and back alley beats from the genre’s long and storied existence.
There’s a lot more punk in the construction of this piece than there is metal, which immediately ties the foundations of “Ashes” to the old school industrial output that helped to bring post-punk into a darker, synth-heavy age over thirty-five years ago. The bulge of the beat and the insistence of the vocal are chills-inducing, and not solely because of the masterful production value we get out of both the single and its music video. Not My God isn’t quite retro, but it’s obvious to me that they take their influences more than a little seriously, especially when listening to this stellar new release.
The grittiness of the master mix is arguably even more profound a tool of communication for the band than the actual bassline is here, which is no small statement to make given the heavy, lumbering qualities of the latter over the former. It’s great when you can get the production itself to contribute something to the narrative – Ministry, anyone? – and this might be one of the more formidable examples of such a notion presented from a purely indie source this autumn. They’re on the outside looking in at the moment, but to me, Not My God has the potential to win some favor outside of critic circles this year.
I love how simplistically designed the music video is, which allows for the band to focus more on highlighting the subtext of the music video than they would props and external narrative building. There’s been a lot of discontent when it comes to making smart videos in rock over the past couple of years, partly because of COVID and partly because of the genre’s commercial decline, but here we see neither the laziness of contemporary minimalism nor the forced surrealism you’d expect from a pop pose – this is unique, original, and wholehearted industrial rock.
Not My God is sporting a pretty sweet sound right now, a lot of intensity, and a killer new single in “Ashes,” and next to the competitive acts I’ve been listening to this September, theirs is a style that sticks out in the crowd. I think we’re going to see them get even darker before they finally break the mainstream, and for those of us who have a special place in our hearts for the true industrial grooves that set the stage for the genre’s best sounds a couple of generations ago, the arrival of this band’s artistic spirit in the spotlight couldn’t be much more exciting.
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