REVIEW: Extreme – “There Is No God” (1994 CD single)

EXTREME – “There Is No God” (1994 A&M CD single)

Extreme’s underrated (extremely underrated!) fourth album Waiting For the Punchline was released in January of 1995.  Yet it was preceded by the 1994 single “There Is No God”, a three track disc with two B-sides included.  Waiting For the Punchline was Extreme’s “back to basics” album.  After the sprawling three sided magnum opus, III Sides To Every Story, Nuno desired to strip things back and funk things up.  Waiting For the Punchline was more raw and groovy, but not as the expense of quality.  Criminally underrated!

The A-side is technically still a non-album track!  The album cut of “There Is No God” is over six minutes; this one is a 4:25 edit.  The opening stuttery guitar remains.  What an awesome drum sound!  Paul Geary played on most of the album (you can tell which ones) and he just had a full, impactful drum sound on this album.  Meanwhile Gary Cherone was singing and writing as strong as ever, turning up the anger dial.  Nuno utilises minimum guitar overdubs (if any) and sounds absolutely wicked here.  His solo is exotic, and there’s no rhythm guitar behind him.  Just Pat Badger laying down the bottom end.  What a killer 90s rock tune, and you don’t really notice the edits until the fade-out.

Second up is a tune called “Never Been Funked”.  Nuno’s using a treatment on his guitar here, giving it an electronic moog-like sound.  This is a basic groove, punchy and to the point.  Not a lot in the way of hooks, just that guitar of Nuno’s, zigging and zagging.  As expected, his soloing and fills are just as bonkers.

The third and final B-side, “Better Off Dead”, is a completely different direction.  Waiting For the Punchline wasn’t a ballad album.  “Better Off Dead” would not have fit, although it has the same ambience as the album.  With minimal accompaniment, Gary and Nuno sing together through the opening.  When the band kicks in, it sounds like Mike Mangini on drums rather than Paul Geary.  (There are no credits.)  It’s a lovely song if a bit meandering.  It’s the longest tune at 5:40.  The outro guitar sounds like Jimmy Page!

Great single to pick up if you’re a fan of Extreme.  Especially if you love Waiting For the Punchline.

4/5 stars

11 comments

  1. An extremely underrated album, indeed! Love how after the excess and pomp of 3 Sides, we get (on many tracks) the sound of the band live, off the floor. A great tune here, too. Again, the antithesis of the sentiment from a batch of tracks on 3 Sides that revelled in religion, Cherone pulling no punches here.

    An album I hope they issue on vinyl at some point so I can complete the collection!

    Like

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