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Streetcleaner (Remastered)

Godflesh

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Album Review

Godflesh's first full album built on the strengths of their self-titled EP and then some, resulting in one of the darkest, best classics of grindcore (admittedly a label Broadrick himself always hated). Of course, in comparison to the nuclear-strength, hyperspeed thrash Broadrick initially found himself associated with thanks to Napalm Death, Streetcleaner doesn't so much grind as crawl, but it does with an awesome, bass-heavy power that feels like doom piled on top of further doom. Assisted with further guitar at points by past bandmate Paul Neville, Broadrick and Green simply explode with utter virulence, musically and lyrically. The song titles again evoke images of mechanistic destruction and organic decay, while Broadrick's roared words, when audible, contain such user-unfriendly lines like "Breed...like rats!" and "Don't hold me back, this is my own hell!" And these from the first two songs alone, the latter of which, one of the band's best numbers, has the title "Christbait Rising." Compared to so many metal wimps who invoke Satan and death in the cheesiest of ways, though, Godflesh let their own brusque impact do the talking for them, and the result is suitably apocalyptic. Drum machines shatter, shudder, and downright assault, while the riffs the two (or three) cook up are bludgeoning, well worthy of Broadrick's partial inspirations the Swans, arguably the best comparable forebear if one is talking about albums like Cop or Young God. The secret to the success of the album is the arrangements — the songs themselves are almost deceptively simple, but the band deliver everything with a pinpoint precision, bursting out of the speakers and suddenly cut off when needed. As an interesting bonus, the CD version contains four tracks originally recorded for an EP but never formally released as such, including the planned title song "Tiny Tears," and "Wound," later re-recorded and remixed for other releases.

Biography

Formed: 1988 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

If Black Sabbath was reborn as an industrial rock band, they'd probably sound an awful lot like Godflesh. Therefore, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Godflesh hails from the same hometown as Sabbath, the tough steel-welding town of Birmingham, England. Although a few other members passed through the Godflesh ranks over the years, the band's undisputed leader was guitarist/singer Justin Broadrick, who was present since the group's inception. Broadrick was influenced early on by heavy metal,...
Full bio
Streetcleaner (Remastered), Godflesh
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