Throbbing Gristle CDs review [Mute]

Music Reviews
Throbbing Gristle CDs review [Mute]
May 4, 2004, 16:36


Yes, literally 24 hours. Since TG's live sets were always powered by generators linked to a timer, all their shows maxed out at an even 60 minutes. Toss 24 live recordings into a canvas box et voila—you've got yourself a day of mind-Gristlizing just waiting to happen. Sonic quality varies from fine to filthy, but the sets all showcase the distorted lo-fi screechbeat TG invented, and there's no lack of skewy, intestine-churning power throughout. Now, you may ask, who needs a dozen or so versions of Moors Murderer rant 'n' rave (“Very Friendly”), screaming S&M stomps (“Discipline”), or endless 10-minute abuses of monophonic synth, flanger and hacking bass? Rampaging, crazy fanboys, that's who. Add an envelope full of postcards, patches, stickers, and pins, and 24 Hours of TG becomes the ultimate fanboy gift. I got one for my birthday and I'm giddy as a British lad with short pants and a can of Scrumpy Jack alcoholic cider.

But what if you're new to the whole Throbbing Gristle “thing”? Let's say you're a quadriplegic teenager from Vladivostok without Internet access, telephone, electricity and indoor plumbing. Or a recent parolee from an East Timor prison camp. Or just a complete fucking idiot. That's where The Taste of TG comes in. Even the complete novice can sample the various flavors which TG cooked up during its late 70s to early 80s run: the wicked pulsing industrialisms, the slow-rising ambient hums, the cheeky synth-pop, the winking tropicalia, etcetera. It's far from the best representation of the band, but it's a well-chosen introduction to TG's various guises. Listen to the CD, jot down the tracks you dig most, then buy the real TG album(s) with those songs on 'em. Then you, too, can pretend you supported the obscenity all along—even if you were really just drooling over the new secretary, dreaming of that promotion to middle management, and driving yourself into the shallowest grave in Schaumburg. Heck, it's never too late to have a good childhood. [Mute]

-J Graham

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