Friday, 27 November 2015

Ten Industrial Albums You Must Own

1. Boing
Cellular Metempsychosis of the Black Angel (1995) 7"
Music and how we listen to it changed the day Boing released this lathe cut masterpiece in an edition of 148 copies in commemoration of Austin Osman Spare's residence at 148, York Road, Waterloo in 1932; or at least it changed for the 146 people who bought a copy. It had already changed for the members of Boing because they'd already heard the record when they recorded it. This was the sound of Boing's fridge humming through a digital reverb for seven minutes whilst David Farnsworth-Toppingham reads some bits out of a library book about Crowley, and the one who used to play tambourine for Flange has a wank over a plate of crackers. What visionaries they were.

2. Eggy Whacko
Facing Downwards Whilst Looking up Slightly When Someone Takes Your Photograph so That You Appear a Little Bit Sinister (1982) C60
Eggy Wacko took their name from details revealed during the 1981 trial of Peter Sutcliffe, namely that the bearded murderer had a fondness for eggy soldiers and that his favourite television programme had been Wacko! in which Jimmy Edwards terrorises young boys' bottoms with hilarious consequences. Eggy Wacko was actually Kenny Bollock formerly of eccentrically named underground outfit It's Just Down There but I'd Give It a Couple of Minutes If I Were You, and achieved minor infamy in industrial circles with Tibetan Arse Caution, a track which features swanee whistle sound effects by Quaker Oats of Thee Magick ov 23. These days Kenny is a Conservative councillor who recently successfully campaigned to have a statue commemorating Margaret Thatcher's victory over the lower classes erected in Thanet town centre.

3. Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band
Brass Accolade (1974) LP
Brass Accolade is a powerful album that captivates the mind with intense imagery of legions of soldiers marching towards battle. While some tracks bring forth the epic atmosphere of a proverbial rallying of the troops - such as the intro March - Brass Accolade  - others evoke images of a grand campaign being fought on the field of battle, such as Theme from Spartacus and Carribean Cameo. The drums scream of militaristic art and the layered synth behind it does a fine job of doing the same whilst texturing the music towards a neoclassical tangent. While some songs exist as a soundtrack for soldiers and the glories and horrors of war, others bring a certain element of mystery and touch base with the realm of occultism, such as the track The Gypsy Trumpeter, which evokes the images of the Third Reich and its secretive occult research group of the same name.

4. Gas Chamber
Rose Scented Tears, Mein Fuhrer (1988) CD
Of all Gas Chamber's classic recordings, this album was arguably the most ethereal and delicate with, so it is reckoned, as much as 25% more acoustic guitar augmenting their customary line up of trumpets and militaristic snare drum. Critics have additionally singled out this collection as simply exploring controversial ideas and imagery to a much greater extent than its predecessor, Reichstag of My Darkest Love, particularly with numbers such as I Saw a Jew One Day and Hitler Was Right (We're Not Joking). Usual terms and conditions apply regarding how you can't mix music and politics, particularly not whilst simply exploring controversial ideas and imagery, because that's censorship which is a bad thing and definitely not cool.

5. The Girls' Fannies
Crying Inside (1985) C30
Some might say an unusual choice given that the Girls' Fannies were so frequently described as a hybrid of early Depeche Mode and A Flock of Seagulls with a hint of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, but the devil is, as they say, in the detail, and apparently even in the details of every single song following the same four note sequence combined with Barry Fornication's consistently flat foghorn voice always recorded far too loud, and with too much echo even before we get to all those rhyming couplets about how you have to be yourself, and how you shouldn't judge a book by a cover, and how breaking up with a girl is a bit like being an army soldier in a war or something, amongst other allegories so ham-fisted they would have been rejected by 1960s Star Trek for stating the bleeding obvious; but Mr. Fornication briefly played synth for Nekrotic Sutkliffe Korps, and his Wicked Kool label once put out an album by Penis Sektion, so what the fuck - close enough, I guess.

6. Efficiency Unit
PE Teacher of Your Soul (1993) LP
Efficiency Unit's third album really put them on the map with the tender ballardry of its title track, distinguished by that unforgettable shoutalong chorus of reciprocate my animal urges for the future bounty of the race, and of course its bold new musical direction bringing together elements of hardbeat, blokestep, manstomp, and technoOi! No-one believed they would ever better 1989's Work / Obey in their pursuit of ruthless sequencer driven music by which to lift up extremely heavy objects whilst grunting before putting them down again in a different place, but they gave 110% on this one, and went so far that they sort of came out the other side and won a medal for it. That would probably be something to do with having the album released by Rio Tinto-Zinc, which isn't even a record label.

7. Creosote Famelicus
Qui Comederunt Omnes Pies (2007) CD
If it was south-east London's loss to see Smithy's Pie & Mash on the Tower Bridge Road close up shop due to a sudden fall of revenue, then it was neofolk's gain when the fire brigade found themselves no longer able to free Anthony Creosote from the studio in which he had just recorded Ego cum fricta Cogito Sumere, obliging him to go on a diet and record another album seeing as it wasn't like he was going anywhere for a couple of weeks. So here it was, another album of songs from the neofolk Gary Numan in which he did see numerous things described in the sort of terms with which no-one sane has bothered since before the reformation when all them blackies come over bringing foreign words like telescope and Puff Daddy and ruining everything forever, not being racialist or nuffink. There isn't much to distinguish this album from its predecessors, except perhaps that it simply explores controversial ideas and imagery with a ferocity which is unusual even by Creosote's standards, probably because he was gagging for a pie throughout most of the recordings, and the track All Salad Must Die allows particular insight into his mindset during these sessions.

8. Screamer
Rice & Peas (1997) CD
Screamer have never been shy of controversy as is clear from album titles such as Dedicated to Hermann Göring, Felch, and Tits Out For the Lads, although greater popularity has subjected their brand of confrontational electronics to less forgiving scrutiny in recent times, coming to a head with the provocatively named We Endorse the Klu Klux Klan and We're Not Being Ironic album, the attendant press barny being of such ferocity that Screamer's Donald Burns was forced to release a statement explaining that the title We Endorse the Klu Klux Klan and We're Not Being Ironic was ironic. Since then, the release of Rice & Peas, their somewhat unexpected reggae album, at least served to reduce the outrage to a more general sense of bewilderment. Some critics continue to cast aspersions on the sincerity of tracks such as Me Sat Next To One Pon De Bus and Dedicated to Derek Griffiths, but few can doubt that this peculiar combination of raging feedback and rocksteady guitar was breaking new ground when it first came out, even if Donald Burns referring to himself as I and I seems ill-advised with hindsight.

9. Jesus Bandicoot
Going to Church is Shit (2001) CD
Initially dismissed as a Black Sabbath album played at the wrong speed, this was the point at which Jesus Bandicoot really came into their own with their inimitable blend of industrial rock metal guitar and a slightly different sounding industrial rock metal guitar, to which they added a layer of a further slightly different sounding industrial rock metal guitar to transcend established barriers of post-modern irony with the hit single Gonna Industrial Rock You All Night, the first recorded application of irony to the initial irony of the work in question, meaning this actually may as well just be a Kiss album. What set Going to Church is Shit apart from all of the other industrial rock metal guitar records which may just as well have been Kiss albums was Alvin Bungalow pulling scary faces and flicking his tongue out in the video whilst bravely suggesting that TV evangelists and other representatives of established religion were in some cases hypocritical. No-one had ever considered this before. Everyone thought those guys were on the money until Alvin pointed out just how wrong we were. Also, if you listen closely to what is going on behind all the industrial rock metal guitar, you can hear a tape recording of a man saying praise Jesus over and over. No-one had ever done that on a record before. Alvin Bungalow was the first.

10. Thee Magick ov 23
Piper at thee Gates ov Dawn (1988) LP
Whatever you may say about Thee Magick ov 23, they're never predictable, except when one predicts that they will be unpredictable and they do something completely predictable just to confound you, and something completely predictable in a playful and subversive way which explores controversial ideas and imagery. They did it again here, doing the absolute last thing their critics had expected them to do by doing exactly what their critics had said they would probably do having recently covered an entire Pink Fairies album, song for song, more or less note for note, namely moving one page forward through the enpsychlopedia (a word cleverly invented by Quaker Oats of Thee Magick ov 23 by playfully and subversively combining two existing words) bringing them to the first Pink Floyd album, once again reproduced more or less note for note by a vaguely adequate group of session musicians Quaker Oats encountered in a Burnley working men's club. This recreation of an existing album is apparently a magickal act of some sort and is therefore very important, which is why the songs have some of the words changed so as to ingeniously incorporate references to the number 23, and also why there is a tape of a dog eating a steak in the left channel throughout the recording. Thee Magick ov 23 recently took this album to the stage, embellishing the performance with actual magick workings, with Quaker Oats having himself sawn in half during Thee Gnome, only to emerge magickally unscathed into the audience, inviting individual audience members to pick any card from a pack he magickally produced from the bass player's ear before launching into the song Chapter 23. Critics like them, but not a lot, but still the mystery remains as to where Quaker Oats gets his amazing ideas.


  1. i've read this about five times already tonight and it's still funnier each time

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Superb, shame even bootlegs of these cost a fortune ;)

  4. And I'm happy to say that each one of these adorns my collection. Even though I don't have a collection. Proper job, Lawrence!

  5. this is the best thing on the internet