Not in fact their second anything, The Second Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle, is the band’s now four decade old debut. Though their impact on electronic and industrial music is undeniable, listening to these tracks I’m relieved their needlessly “transgressive” lyrics and imagery have not been so influential.
Vinyl LP £15.49 TGLP2
White vinyl reissue LP on Mute.
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CD £7.99 TGCD2
Reissue 2CD on Mute.
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9/10 Vern 24th October 2013
I'd never heard of Throbbing Gristle before until I saw the lp cover of '20 Jazz Funk Greats', their third lp, which looks and sounds about as interesting as listening to snooker on the radio. But then I heard the buzz around it and looked it up, discovering that rather than the band being a cheery bunch of Brits just standing along the coastline in their woolies, they are in fact pictured in front of Beachy Head, the notorious suicide spot and that instead of these primary coloured good people covering some Jazz Funk greats, the album is full of twisted, creepy and aggressive industrial sounds which are equally intense on this, their debut lp, 'The Second Annual Report of Throbbing Gristle'.
These guys created the industrial genre so is said, and boy it's a bleak soundtrack here. Tracks like 'Slug Bait' bubble and give the occasional pop of scratchy terror. I'm just waiting for Richard Burton to start saying how the aliens came from Mars because this is definitely a soundtrack style album. The thrilling and terrifying thing is that you can make your own narrative from the sounds, making the strange, stranger.
I don't own the vinyl but may have to invest because this on good speakers would be something else. There is so much being brewed down in that bass. 'Maggot Death' is the sound of the film 'Apocalypse Now', with a whirling helicopter sound and distorted, muffled voices and just a sense of horror which the Vietnam War (not long finished by the release of this) conjures. Things go quieter by the end with 20mins of pulsating noise that keeps you on the edge of you seat waiting for the bang. It doesn't come but that's why it's brilliant.
The band with the most disgusting name comes up with some of the most disgusting yet fantastic sound I've ever heard.
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