is there such a thing as too much throbbing gristle?
POSTED ON 7/27/2006 | PERMALINK |
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Filed in: throbbinggristle industrial genesisp-orridge music
In its day, the racket Throbbing Gristle made was unlike anything heard before. It was allied to grim visions of Nazi death camps, serial killers, urban decay and imminent apocalypse. Today, their sound and iconography have been assimilated into the mainstream. Rock stars call themselves Marilyn Manson, arenas are filled by bands making a punishing noise and record shops devote acres to "industrial music", a genre whose title Throbbing Gristle coined. Do the originators still have the power to shock and horrify? What better way to find out than a concentrated, unadulterated blast of their blare?After 24 hours of listening to TG, the author of this piece was completely exhausted. As someone who has listened to hours of TG intermixed the thrashing and sqealing of the NYC subway system, I can certainly identify. It can be stimulating and exhausting. Sometimes one or the other, often both. It is experimental in its truest sense. It might take 24 hours to discover if you truely love it or thoroughly hate it. But, by the end, you'll definitely know for sure.
Their music has sounded awe-inspiring, hopelessly amateurish, packed with ideas and just rubbish, but anyone who argues that its power to unsettle has been diminished by time is wrong. Nevertheless, if you listen to it too much, you become immune. Perhaps my experience mirrored Throbbing Gristle's own. "It just got a bit too safe, a bit too formulaic - that's why we stopped," Carter says.