Sunday, August 28, 2005

All I Want to Do is Go Out and Kill

Throbbing Gristle – Live Vol 2

If you consider yourself even a casual fan of Industrial music, you have to own at least one album by the original Industrial band, Throbbing Gristle. I used to own their 'best of' (almost a joke for a band as decidedly non-commercial as them) but it was stolen in the great CD heist of aught-two. Their CDs aren't exactly the kind of thing you see lying around in the music store in the mall, so when I saw one of their albums in a random market stall in Sydney I snapped it up.

Hardcore noise isn't really my thing anymore, but while such music makes up the heart of Throbbing Gristle's style, they often go on weird tangents, from jazz to their own twisted idea of pop. As the title implies this is a collection of live tracks, taken from three different shows. The first emphasises their full on confrontational noisy side, with their customised synths in total atonal squawk mode and Genesis P. Orridge indulging in his distinctive 'yell random phrases in a strange voice' vocal stylings. The second set consists of ambient, gentler songs, including the ever popular Hamburger Lady. Even in this mode their music is still the farthest thing from easy listening, but it is a little less teeth-clenchingly confrontational. The last set moves back to the more aggressive style, with the last track, D.O.A, being one of their more upbeat, vaguely poppy numbers.

I'd thought that my tastes had moved away from this sort of thing but I found that I liked this album a lot more than I expected to. While I definitely prefer the ambient songs to the aggressive ones, and the seven minute average track length does cause a few songs to wear out their welcome (especially given the repetitive nature of Throbbing Gristle's live performances), I've found the album as a whole quite listenable. Maybe the reason I stopped listening to this stuff is that I've been subjected to too many lame imitators and have forgotten how good the best industrial noise bands were.

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