Throbbing Gristle The First Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle / Grief

Thirsty Ear has released two longed-for rarities from the catalogue of the world's first industrial band, Throbbing Gristle. Oddly enough, The First Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle is their first release, but it was never released until now. Instead, most know their first album to be Second Annual Report. This album was recorded in 1975, under some rather primitive conditions. Lo-fi is the sonic fabric and it helps in communicating the subversive group's commentary about the gloomy and banal existence of the working class and other various forms of unwanted oppression. Genesis P-Orridge's androgynous voice is projected towards the listener via a sonic telescope of distorted radio waves, while some of music history's earliest custom converted computer sampling and loops run like grotesque biological experiments. The real reason why goth types (who make up a good chunk of Throbbing Gristle's fan base) have a whitened pallor is not because of poor diet or makeup, it is simply because Gristle's mesmerising songs create a pleasurable feeling of anxiety that causes the listener's blood rushing elsewhere to hide. While Gen chants in the oh-so naughty way that he does, the guitars hum in tune like priests who forgive him. Grief, on the other hand, was a sought-after bootleg that is finally available for those who wish to complete their TG collection. Only two (but long) tracks occupy this disc, "Camera" and "Telephone." The consistency of the album can at best be explained as obscure, with taped broadcast interviews of P-Orridge and company sounding off against some even more abstract rhythms that operate like dying hospital machinery. Personal insight into their place inside (or outside) the arts community of England, circa 1977, abounds, and you'll know why if you dare to hear this. (Thirsty Ear)