Our top 10 Gravity Kills songs list looks at the catalog of an American outfit that rose to prominence in the mid-‘90s industrial rock scene. The band was formed in 1994 with its classic lineup consisting of vocalist Jeff Scheel, keyboardist Doug Firley, guitarist Matt Dudenhoeffer, and bassist/drummer Kurt Kerns. Gravity Kills first appeared in the music scene after the demo versions of its hits “Goodbye” and “Guilty” were featured in the soundtracks of the 1995 films Mortal Kombat and Se7en, respectively.
Other industrial rock/industrial metal acts whose songs had been featured in the soundtracks of either of the two movies include Fear Factory, Sister Machine Gun, KMFDM, and Nine Inch Nails. While Gravity Kills’ career might have been impressive, the band failed to match the mainstream and commercial success of industrial rock outfits such as Orgy, Marilyn Manson, and Nine Inch Nails. However, Gravity Kills still holds a special place in the hearts of industrial rockers.
Gravity Kills’ Album Releases
In March 1996, Gravity Kills issued its eponymous debut studio album through TVT Records. Gravity Kills finds the band tackling squarely the industrial rock sound with its production work handled by the band members in conjunction with John Fryer, a former member of This Mortal Coil. As a producer, Fryer has worked with multiple distinguished acts including Modern English, Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins, Bruce Gilbert, Nine Inch Nails, and Swans.
Gravity Kills was a mainstream success, rising atop the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums Chart. The album also made it to the Billboard 200, peaking at number eighty-nine. “Down,” “Enough,” “Goodbye,” “Blame,” and “Guilty” are the best Gravity Kills songs from the album. Gravity Kills was a commercial success selling about five hundred thousand copies in the US. The band went on to issue a remix album entitled Manipulated in April 1997. Among the musicians who made Manipulated a success include Al Jourgensen of Ministry, former Nine Inch Nails drummer Martin Atkins, a former member of Swans Roli Mosimann, and P.M. Dawn.
Perversion, issued in 1998, marked Gravity Kills’ sophomore studio album through TVT Records. The album finds the band venturing into a blend of industrial rock, industrial metal, alternative rock, and electronic rock sounds. Perversion had its production work handled by the band members in conjunction with a former member of Swans Roli Mosimann.
The album was a mainstream success peaking at number one hundred and seven on the Billboard 200. “Falling,” “Alive,” “Drown,” and “If” are some of the top musical gems off Perversion. The band’s cover of Gary Numan’s hit “Poetry and Power” is featured as a bonus track. Perversion marked the band’s last album issued through TVT Records.
In 2002, Gravity Kills issued its third and last studio album, Superstarved. The album was issued through Sanctuary Records with production work split between the band members and Martin Atkins, a drummer and session musician linked to Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Killing Joke, and Pigface. Superstarved finds the band blending its industrial metal sound with nu-metal influences.
“Love, Sex and Money,” “Fifteen Minutes,” “Suffocating,” and “One Thing” are the best Gravity Kills songs from the album. Superstarved is also home to the band’s cover of the 1989 hit “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode. “Suffocating” finds Gravity Kills collaborating with Moby, with the song initially purposed for a soundtrack. However, Moby chose the hit “Tiny Rubberband” by Butthole Surfers over “Suffocating.”
Gravity Kills’ Legacy
While Gravity Kills never achieved massive mainstream and commercial success, the band remains a significant contributor to the industrial rock/industrial metal scene. Thanks to the band’s outstanding musicianship, some of its songs have been featured in movie soundtracks. Gravity Kills was among the top acts featured in the 1997 Gary Numan tribute album, Random. Over the years, the band has shared stages with prominent acts including Pigface, Sex Pistols, Sister Machine Gun, and Sevendust. Here we present the all-time ten best Gravity Kills.
#10 – Drown
Ushering us to the top 10 Gravity Kills songs is the impressive hit “Drown.” The song is among the top musical gems featured on the band’s sophomore debut studio album, Perversion. Like most of the songs on the album, “Drown” employs some loud and aggressive delivery both on the vocals and instrumentation.
The song has a hypnotic chorus which makes it quite alluring. “Drown” achieved some mainstream success in Germany. However, with the band cited not to have scheduled the song for live performances, TVT Records shelved its plan to issue a music video for this hit. “Drown” was featured in the racing video game Test Drive: Off-Road 2.
#9 – Fifteen Minutes
When Gravity Kills issued its third studio album, Superstarved, its members sought to explore the extremes of riff-oriented music. As a result, most of the songs from the album, including “Fifteen Minutes,” are tinged with catchy nu-metal sounds. While the song’s instrumentation and arrangement brand it a masterpiece, “Fifteen Minutes” has its status elevated to a fan-favorite thanks to its incisive lyrical content.
#8 – Alive
Coming in at number eight on our top 10 Gravity Kills songs list is the intoxicating hit “Alive.” The song is among the musical gems featured on the band’s sophomore studio album, Perversion. “Alive” is delivered in an upbeat tempo with its groove proving to be quite catchy and melodic. It is worthwhile that you also check out the remix version of this hit issued by DJ Hurricane.
Hurricane is a renowned producer/disc jockey revered for his work with the Beastie Boys. He has also worked with Public Enemy, Talib Kweli, and Kool G Rap, all of who he has featured on his solo albums. Video game lovers might have heard the industrial rock ballad “Alive” from the racing video game Test Drive: Off-Road 2.
#7 – Goodbye
When Gravity Kills issued their first single “Guilty,” TVT Records were quick to sign the band, a move that would result in recording the band’s debut album almost imminently. Among the songs that backed up the success of the band’s first single is “Goodbye.” The demo version of “Goodbye” was quite alluring.
TVT Records didn’t have a second thought about having it featured on the soundtrack of the 1995 film Mortal Kombat. “Goodbye” was issued as the second track on the soundtrack. The song went on to feature on the band’s eponymous debut studio album. However, most of the band’s fans love the demo version of this song compared to the album version.
#6 – Personal Jesus
Number six on our top 10 Gravity Kills songs list is the outstanding hit “Personal Jesus.” The song is among the brightest tracks off the band’s third studio album, Superstarved. Initially, the song was issued by Depeche Mode and featured on the band’s 1990 studio album, Violator. Depeche Mode’s version of the song featured some catchy bluesy riffs that saw it strike a balance between synth-rock, blues rock, and alternative rock sounds.
However, Gravity Kills gives the song a touch of their industrial rock/industrial metal sound tinged with nu-metal influences. The result is a fan-favorite cover hit whose glory lives on to date. Other artists who issued a cover version of this song include Sammy Hagar of Van Halen, Def Leppard, Johnny Cash, and Marilyn Manson.
“Personal Jesus” was penned by Martin Gore of Depeche Mode with its lyrics alluding to being a ‘Jesus’ for someone else, caring for them while offering hope. Martin went on to cite that the song was inspired by a book by Priscilla Presley, wife to Elvis Presley. In the song, Martin cites Elvis to have been Priscilla’s mentor, man, and lover — personal Jesus in short!
#5 – Blame
We return to the band’s eponymous debut studio album where we find the fifth pick of our ten best Gravity Kills songs list “Blame.” Vocalist Jeff Scheel revealed that the first time he heard of the concept of what would later become the hit “Blame” was in Kurt Kerns’ car. Apparently, the rest of the band members had earlier composed the music to this track without him. However, his input in the lyrics, and later in the vocal room, are nothing short of legendary.
Jeff also instructed the band’s bassist Doug to make some song arrangement changes to allow him give the best of his vocal deliveries. “Blame” has its lyrics alluding to the band’s experience with their friends owing to the members’ move to prioritize making new releases. The song went on to be featured on the soundtrack of the 1996 film Escape from L.A. A music video for the song was issued with former Throbbing Gristle member Peter Christopherson tasked as its director.
#4 – One Thing
“One Thing” is the epitome of Gravity Kills’ musicianship on the band’s third studio album, Superstarved. The band was often cited to have been a musical imitation of Nine Inch Nails’ career by some critics, albeit less ferocious. However, songs like “One Thing” saw the band establish itself as its own brand.
Jeff Scheel also seems to have taken a slightly unique vocal style on this song with his croons sounding a little more edgy than usual. “One Thing” was among the band’s minor radio hits from Superstarved. The song was also a mainstream success, making it to the twenty-fourth spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart.
#3 – Falling
The third pick on our ten best Gravity Kills songs list is the marvelous hit “Falling.” “Falling” is by far the most impressive hit off the band’s sophomore studio album, Perversion. The song balances its groovy feel, melody, and noise to achieve some radio-friendly sound.
While some might crave the aggressive dynamic hooks featured on the band’s debut album, “Falling” has its throbbing delivery cover up for the aforementioned losses in Perversion. The song ended up becoming a mainstream success rising to number thirty-five on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. “Falling” was featured in the 1998 racing video game Test Drive 5.
#2 – Enough
“Enough” is one of the most revered tracks off the band’s eponymous debut studio album. The song finds Gravity Kills giving us a taste of its staple industrial rock sound tinged with trance/dance-Esque beats. Of course, the sound of this song feels a tad bit commercial, likening Gravity Kills to industrial rock outfits such as Stabbing Westward, KMFDM, Filter, and Nine Inch Nails.
“Enough” has been featured in a number of soundtracks to high-profile films and the video game Test Drive: Off-Road. The song was a mainstream success, peaking at number ninety-eight on the UK Singles Chart.
#1 – Guilty
Number one on our ten best Gravity Kills songs list is the alluring hit “Guilty.” The song was the first single ever released by the band. Before it was issued on the band’s eponymous debut album, “Guilty” enjoyed some success in the band’s hometown St. Louis, Missouri, getting heavy rotation on local radio stations. The song was featured in the soundtrack of the 1995 film Se7en.
Upon its official release on the band’s eponymous debut studio album, “Guilty” achieved mainstream success in the US. The song rose to the twenty-fourth and thirty-ninth spots on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Charts, respectively. “Guilty” also made it to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number eighty-six. A music video for the song was issued with Rocky Morton tasked with directing it. Rocky Morton also directed video songs for Talking Heads, George Harrison, Orgy, and Miles Davis.
Top 10 Gravity Kills Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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