Throbbing GristleIndustrial Culture Creators
Wreckers of Western Civilization.
Most discussions of Throbbing Gristle almost immediately go off onto tangents about elements of the band other than their music: their early days as the confrontational performance art collective COUM Transmissions, the regular use of images or lyrical conceits that seem harmless at first but are loaded with disturbing subtext, the feminist politics of Cosey Fanni Tutti's sideline as a sex worker, etc. Lost in all of this (admittedly quite fascinating) discussion is the fact that on a strictly musical level, Throbbing Gristle were consistently the most interesting of the first wave of industrial bands. Having spent seven years refining their musical and philosophical approach under their previous name, there was a definite sense of structure to the band's LPs, even when their intent remained opaque. At times, especially on the classic synth-punk single "United" and certain tracks from 1979's 20 Jazz Funk Greats, the quartet even flirted with a mutated form of pop music. The group split into factions in 1981, with Genesis P-Orridge leading the ever-changing Psychic TV, Cosey and Chris Carter working together as Chris and Cosey and Peter Christopherson founding the comparatively conventional Coil. After reuniting for live performances and archival releases in 2004, Throbbing Gristle announced their permanent dissolution following Christopherson's death in November 2010.
|Persuasion (live 2004)|