Deep Switch: Nine Inches of God 2CD

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The knowledge about obscure heavy metal bands of Shadow Kingdom Records never fails to amaze me and DEEP SWITCH is so far the most outlandish group on their release roster. Vocalist Dave McDonough looks like a more extreme version of Keith ‘Monkey’ Warren (The Adicts) while the rest of the band seems to be influenced by the outfit of the New York Dolls mixed with Alice Cooper. Added to this is a kind of humour which can only be found in England. It’s black and sarcastic with similarities to Monty Python. This being so, what causes particular surprise is that DEEP SWITCH remained relatively unknown, because their music had potential and I can imagine that their gigs must have been spectacular. Maybe it was also due to the reason that no one knew how to handle such a bunch of weirdos. However, no record label showed interest, so that the band had no option but to release ‘Nine Inches Of God’ as a self-financed private pressing in 1986. Needless to say that nowadays it is quite difficult to find this rare album.

But, as said before, Shadow Kingdom Records released the ultimate DEEP SWITCH collection in 2010, comprising of ‘Nine Inches Of God’ as well as both demos and four previously unreleased tracks. It has a 32 page (!!) booklet full of informations, funny stories and millions of unreleased photos. Still got questions? I don’t think so. In musical terms, DEEP SWITCH is a classic heavy metal band and it is obvious that the band was formed in 1984. Not much is left of any blues or heavy rock influences as to be known from some of the earlier bands of the NWOBHM era. In some moments, they have the same folky and occult vibe as early Black Widow or Pagan Altar, but otherwise it’s difficult to compare DEEP SWITCH with any other band.

Besides that, I keep asking myself how serious the band was about their lyrics and image, because all tracks are pervaded by a sense of tongue-in-cheek irony. A good example of this is the opener ‘Pigfeeder!’ and especially ‘Poor Bastard!’ sounds as if Monty Python had formed a heavy metal band in 1983. The songs are mostly dominated by the dramatic vocals of Dave McDonough which are not always to my taste. But I must also admit that he’s doing an excellent job, because he breathes life into the songs comparable to a good actor. ‘Time Machine’ is an anthemic punk rock-driven track and one of my faves on this album while ‘Lovers Of The Dream’, a super-corny ballad, is as sweet as one thousand chocolate bars. Nevertheless, I like this track, because sometimes I need my candies and I get older.

Apart from that, ‘Nine Inches Of God’ is packed with catchy melodies and razor-sharp riffs which ensure that you will remember the album for a longer time. The surprisingly arranged songs also take care of that and reinforce the cinematic character of the music. An interesting feature especially for those who are already familiar with DEEP SWITCH is the second disc. It consists of nine demo tracks, of which four ones are previously unreleased. In all honesty, I must admit that I like some of the early versions more than the final recordings for ‘Nine Inches Of God, because the sound of the demo is less bombastic. However, ‘Don’t Wanna Work’ is just a terrible pop rock song, and one gets the impression as if the band was interested in starting a radio friendly career. Fortunately, it is the only weak number on the bonus disc. I will certainly become not a huge fan of DEEP SWITCH, because I’m sometimes appalled by their goofy attitude, but they were, without any doubt, capable of writing some good songs. Altogether, this attractive collection is made for people with a huge interest in lost and obscure heavy metal bands.