If you're familiar with Bottomless Pit's excellent debut (2007's Hammer of the Gods), then Blood Under the Bridge might seem at first like a high-quality retread. While there's variety from track to track, the group continues to mine the common ground between Silkworm's tasteful classic-rock inclinations and the pastoral majesty of Seam. (It's only fair, given that three-fourths of Bottomless Pit came from those groups.) Not much has changed lyrically, either.
Bottomless Pit bears more baggage from the past than probably any other underground act. For starters, there’s the shadow cast by its previous incarnation as Silkworm and the distinctive sound that the songwriting duo of Andy Cohen and Tim Midgett created for that could-have-been indie favorite. But the much heavier burden for Cohen and Midgett to bear has been the sad circumstance that led to the dissolution of their previous act and the founding of Bottomless Pit, which was the tragic car accident death of Silkworm drummer Michael Dahlquist in 2005.
Doggedly timeless and seemingly ignorant of trends, Bottomless Pit’s Blood Under the Bridge feels like a freight train bound straight from the fuzzy heart of the ‘90s, all churning post-grunge with a hesitant glimmer of rhythm. With just nine songs clocking in at 34 minutes, it has the span of an EP but the muscle of a full album, offering songs that pop with fullness and heft. This is the third effort for Bottomless Pit, who formed from the remnants of Silkworm after drummer Michael Dahlquist’s tragic death in 2005.
If there’s one thing that’s immediately obvious about Bottomless Pit, it’s that these dudes have impeccable musical chemistry. After all, they’ve been making music together for a long time, as guitarists Andy Cohen and Tim Midgett honed their chops in 90s alt-math collective Silkworm. But when drummer Michael Dahlquist suddenly died in 2005, so did that band.
In an interview taped for the upcoming documentary Couldn't You Wait: The Story of Silkworm, Pavement's Stephen Malkmus talks about how Silkworm—despite having respectable (if criminally overlooked) runs on indie giants like Matador and Touch And Go—never seemed to be remotely motivated by careerism. When Silkworm drummer Michael Dahlquist was killed in an auto accident by a suicidal driver in 2005, even the band's most diehard fans assumed guitarist Andy Cohen and bassist Tim Midgett might justifiably step back and fade into indie-rock history. Instead, they almost immediately formed Bottomless Pit.