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Throbbing Gristle - D.o.A. The Third And Final Report  CD (album) cover

D.O.A. THE THIRD AND FINAL REPORT

Throbbing Gristle

Progressive Electronic


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5 stars Oh well, I guess it's official then eh? Throbbing Gristle are now 'Prog'. I never thought I'd see the day!

'Third Annual Report' is one of their best efforts but if you're unsettled by the sleeve, you definitely don't want to see the calendar girl inside. Now that's 'Dodge City Jail Bait' if ever I saw it.

Throbbing Gristle were one of the more adventurous outfits of the 70's comprising four very different musical personalities. At the helm was Genesis P. Orridge with his dead, empty soul and almost ghost-like vocals. Keyboard creator Chris Carter, a self proclaimed lover of Abba. Cosey Fanni Tutti - Soft core porn model and performance artist. And lastly poor old Pete Christopherson who died recently - tape manipulator and electronic percussion master.

Throbbing Gristle were a real rag-tag outfit who didn't fit any genre at the time. They were as 'outside' as you could get.

'Third Annual Report' is their most diverse album. Chopping and changing from one style to another beginning with the 'Kluster' like intro, followed by the punk-like - 'Hit by a Rock' before being thrown straight in to the hard hitting foul mouthed audio recording of some English hoodlums on a street corner. 'Dead on Arrival' is proto industrial in the style of 'SPK' and is very unlike anything else on show in 1978.

Ahhh... these truly were the good old days when some artists could produce whatever the hell they liked and sod the consequences. It just goes to show that in the long run, doing your own thing pays off.

Mr Dead Pan P. Orridge sings (or whines- as many would claim) the rather miserable 'Weeping' while playing a distorted old violin that sounds as though half the strings are missing.

Honestly, there are barely two tunes on 'Third Annual Report' that sound as though they're played by the same band. However, ALL of them have that dirty, seedy, hot and sweaty feel that Throbbing Gristle somehow always managed to conjure up.

'Hamburger Lady' is rather gross and very intense with swelling, throbbing electronic drones, as we're put through the mill listening to an account of a serious burn victim.

There's some light relief with Cosi Fanni Tutti's 'Hometime' - with a small girl muttering about bunny rabbits and sand pits, accompanied by spacey guitar and massively reverbed effects. Chris Carter cheers this strange, disturbing album up with the purely electronic and upbeat 'AB/7A'. There's more filthy doom and gloom with 'E-Coli' which has those creepy violins screeching in the background along with guitar strings that sound like they're bent at right angles as a Doctor explains the effects of this bacteria.

'Death Threats' are actual recordings from their home phones!. I'm not surprised they had so many enemies. 'Five Knuckle Shuffle' has the classic TG sound and is the most representative song of the band on this album... An odd repetitive electronic beat, with rambling shouty vocals, sound effects and hugely distorted guitar all thrown right in your face.

Definitely not for the faint hearted or fans of 'Genesis' or 'Yes'. I call it a masterpiece for the simple fact that there's nothing else like it. Hugely original and influential in as much a way as Kraftwerk were to electronics.

A really dirty repulsive little album that hits all the right buttons with me.

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Send comments to Dobermensch (BETA) | Report this review (#608379)
Posted Thursday, January 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars

As a fan of the industrial sounds of the latest Gary Numan sounds I had to try this dark and disturbing artist Throbbing Gristle and this album looked as good as any. Well, it was dark and disturbing but not totally unlistenable unlike other disturbia I have heard and avoided. TG begin this joyous romp into excess with printer data sounds of I.B.M and then move into a deep recurrent synth throb and manic caterwauling on Hit by a Rock. United is a 17 second ultra sped up version of a fairly decent 4 minute song. I prefer the long version but it is interesting that the band decided to speed it up out of recognition, though it would have been fun to slow it down back in the days of vinyl by hand spinning the disc.

Next is the Valley of the Shadow of Death which is an incessant synth drone and some odd taped conversations that are unintelligible but have some expletives and sounds in the background may be military effects. Not sure about what that is saying. Next is the Dead on Arrival that is really industrial sounding like machines in some kind of hospital. I like the synth patterns and overall atmosphere but there is not enough variation and someone tell P-Orridge to stop tooting like a maniac. Weeping is the next one and it is a morbid study in suicidal thoughts with lyrics that defy explanation "My arm is torn open like a wound, My universe is coming from my mouth, I spent a year or two, listening to you, Discrediting myself for you, You didn't see me on the floor weeping, You didn't see me lying by the door, You didn't see me swallowing my tablets, You can't look inside my eyes no more." The sounds on this are very weird and even remind me of Oriental plucking guitar reverberations and some off key violin screeches.

Hamburger Lady is a classic from Throbbing Gristle that I knew about even before I knew they existed as it is controversial for its portrayal of a lady mutilated and burnt and the term was how the police referred to the poor burns victim. The lyrics are morose reverberated by Genesis P-Orridge and the slices of guitar by Cosey Fanni Tutt are wonderfully dark. This is as dark as it gets for this band apart from Slug Bait which I care not to hear again. Hometime is an unusual atmospheric piece with some nice little girl talking but we hope she is safe, though the album cover has an unsettling look to it, especially the insert photo of the little girl lifting her dress. Of course the band are out to shock and we can add our own interpretations and as much as I try I cannot hear anything particularly odd about the girl's rantings, though that may be the point.

AB/7A is an excellent synth piece that motorvates along like vintage Kraftwerk and is certainly one of the more electronic passages of music on the album. E-Coli returns to grim moody themes with a pulsing synth, off key sustained toots and some eerie effects. Throughout this slow moving music is a lecture by some physician speaking of the effects of deadly bacteria. The mood is really brought down low after the previous bright synth driven track. It is remarkable how each track is completely different. Next is Death Threats which is a phone message of some bloke who wants to end the "industrial world" of the band, and some weird woman who wants to set some bad hoodlums onto P-Orridge for some reason; quite nasty really considering it is a real phone call from some deranged woman. Up next is Walls of Sound that is really a noise distorted with screeches and static, quite a kick in the guts after all the other tracks and again stands out as completely diverse from other tracks. Moving on to Blood on the Floor, which is droning vocals and a synth sound and mercifully is ended after a minute.

2 bonus tracks appear and they are both unsettling and perhaps did not make it to the 1978 album because they are so over the top. We hate You (Little girls) is a throwback to the album cover image. Can you imagine that girl sitting there and hearing this screaming maniac yelling their lung raw about how much they hate her.

At the end of the album I feel as though I have heard something that must not be ignored as it is so ground breaking and yet it was not really an enjoyable experience and purposefully so. This type of music exists and if you dig hard you can find some really disturbing stuff out there such as Nurses with Wounds, Frankie Suicide and this. Perhaps that is what the music industry needs to set it in its place. This off kilter music must balance out all the commercial music. It can't all be radio friendly commercial and it can't all be industrial noise; there must always be balance. Somehow Throbbing Gristle draw me in the way that The Residents draw me into their dark universe. I prefer The Residents for their humourous approach and the problem I have personally with Throbbing Gristle is not that they do not deserve recognition as artists breaking the barriers, but the problem for me is that the music is so tuneless, forgettable, weirdly morbid and deeply depressing. If that is the type of music you desire than this is the perfect band for you.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#1083894)
Posted Sunday, December 01, 2013 | Review Permalink

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