The weekly podcast schedule rolls along with no signs of stopping! That said, we are playing about with various formats to keep things interesting and from deteriorating into two dudes muttering about wrestling, Silver Age comics, and the NL’s need to adopt the DH (sorry, John). Everyone has their axes to grind, but you certainly don’t need to hear ours. No, instead you need to listen to us tackling another of our off the cuff, as yet unnamed Top 5 features in which we agree on a subject, and reveal our top choices for it unbeknownst to each other. It…actually works out more interestingly than it sounds. We hope. Anyway, you get all that plus a rundown of the crazy schedule of live shows Vancouver just experienced (∆AIMON! Them Are Us Too! The Dead Milkmen! And so many more!), and a portend of what’s to come on the next couple of podcasts: us settling the score with those two-bit jabronis over at Talking To Ghosts, and…The Great Debate!
…What is it? What does it concern? What are the stakes? You’ll just have to stay tuned. Rate and subscribe on iTunes, download directly or stream from the widget below.
I saw the new podcast was up this morning, before you posted, so I had time to think about that top 5 of mine (although I tried not to overthink it):
5. Nine Inch Nails: Hurt (The Downward Spiral meant a lot to me when it came out, and although I love the Johnny Cash cover, the original has a special place in my heart because I remember all the emotions I felt when I let this album overwhelm me and it came to an end. This song is both heartbreaking and a relief when you hear then.)
4. Killing Joke: Mathematics Of Chaos from Pandemonium (It’s just one of my favourite KJ song from probably my favourite album. Same, I remember when I saw them live and I was a wee teen and it was wild.)
3. Architect: Altitude from Mine (I don’t think I have to explain this one to you guys. It’s just. That album. Fuck.)
2. Dead Can Dance: Persephone (the gathering of flowers) from Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun (My favourite DCD album. This track comes just after the Summoning Of The Muse, which is so intense you’re wondering how anything can happen after that that remotely compares. And then Persephone just makes me gasp for air. And then you cry and you want to die. :P)
1. Einstürzende Neubauten: Zerstörte Zelle from Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala (It is so intense, with such a huge build up, it makes me sick in my stomach just to hear it.)
My top 5 end tracks:
Nine Inch Nails – Hurt
Joy Division – Decades
Clan of Xymox – Skindeep
Depeche Mode – The Darkest Star
Ulver – Nowhere/Catastrophe
Its rad you were at the Dead Milkmen show. That show is where I found out about this site!
1. The Dead Milkmen – Deans Dream
2. Bauhaus – Stigmata Martyr
3. Lard – Pineapple Face
4. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – My last Black scarf
5. New Math – Power of the Air
Error. I didn’t catch the last track concept. Only my 5th pick is a last track. Feel free to delete!
Off the top of my head, and in no particular order:
Front Line Assembly, “Sex Offender”
KMFDM, “The Problem”
Skinny Puppy, “Download” (also “Fritter”)
Assemblage 23, “King of Insects”
Youth Code, “Wear the Wounds”
:W: – Longing
SURVIVE – B4 DIRGE
Babyland – Lmya
Arcturus – For To End Yet Again
Cafe Tacuba – Como Te Extrano Mi Amor
…holly crap, just learned from this podcast the Sturm Café replied to my previous comment! Nice!
The episode, as soon as you announced the topic, I was thinking of Coil as well – but for me it was “The Dreamer Is Still Asleep” that immediatly came to mind. Such a beautiful and open way to lead out of the album!
2. Einstürzende Neubauten – Ich warte (from Alles wieder offen)
Minimalistic, but incredible tension and build-up. And lyrically a very interessting statement at this point in their career.
3. The Smith – Bigmouth Strikes Again (live) (from Rank)
Always makes me wish I’d been able to see them live.
4. Tiamat – A Deeper Kind of Slumber (from the album of the same name)
Maybe a bit outside of ‘our thing’… this is such an amazing underrated album from a time when Tiamat went completly psycedelic and probably pissed of most of their old fans. The last track really ties the album together.
5. Fischerspooner – Natural Disaster (from #1)
Yeah, Emerge is a killer song, but it has been played to death. There is so much other good stuff on the album, and over the years, the final song as become my favourite.
Top 5 last tracks? Well here goes.
Front Line Assembly – Infra Red Combat
Fïx8:Sëd8 – Burial Ground
Terminal Sect – Plastic Meat
Dead When I Found Her – Stainless
Xorcist – Meditatio
I was thinking about all my favorite industrial albums and their closing tracks, and it was astonishing how many of them close on rather lackluster notes. I think a big part of the problem for me was that I started listening to this stuff around the height of the CD era, when bands and labels alike were seduced by the seventy-four minutes of space on each shining silver disc, and all too many failed to restrain themselves, padding out their track lists with endless remixes and bonus tracks. Take Skinny Puppy’s VIVIsectVI as case in point: Without looking it up, I honestly can’t remember which song the album is “supposed” to end with. Was it “State Aid”? “Hospital Waste”? “Yes He Ran”? (Answer: The original Canadian LP apparently closes out with “Fritter (Stella’s Home)”.) And Bites had the perfect closer in “Centre Bullet”, but then the Puppies tacked that hidden track on after it. Even when they do resist the temptation, they sometimes end with a song that doesn’t provide the denouement I had hoped for. I’m not sure why Front Line Assembly chose “Lifeline” to close Tactical Neural Implant – it’s not a bad song, but it really should have been “Gun” or “Remorse”, if you ask me. Similarly, ending Millennium with “Sex Offender” was a little odd – “Sex Offender” should have been the intro, and the closing song should have been “This Faith”.
Anyway, enough griping. Here’s my top 5, in the rough order in which I first heard them:
Nine Inch Nails – Suck (Broken)
If ever a song encapsulates what a band was all about at the time it was released, this one does. All Trent Reznor’s demons are here: Sex, drugs, God, and TVT Records. (I’ve always wondered – at the end when he whispers “I want to do terrible things to you”, who is he speaking to: she whose temple walls are made of flesh, or Steve Gottlieb?) Trent’s growing mastery of loud-quiet dynamics is on full display, and the loping funk of the verses followed by the head crushing choruses, closing with an epic breakdown (in all senses of the word) brings Broken to its fitting conclusion.
The Cure – End (Show)
The studio version of “End” was just a bit much. Three guitars jostled for space in the mix, Boris Williams got tangled in his own rhythms, and the vocal effects on Robert Smith’s voice in the chorus provided the straw that would have broken the song’s back if it hadn’t been for Simon Gallup’s trusty bassline holding it together… barely. Well, the live version fixes all that. The tempo is slowed down to a trudge, which suits the song better and gives the guitars a little space to stretch out. Boris restrains himself, and Robert, tormented wail unmodified, plaintively puts his message across as directly as possible: “Stop loving me, I am none of these things”. And then everybody cheers.
KMFDM – The Unrestrained Use of Excessive Force (What Do You Know, Deutschland?)
Starting with a slow droning synth line, then building up a rhythm track (if “rhythm” is the right word) that provides the missing link between KMFDM and Einstürzende Neubauten, before launching into bright synth stabs that sound like they were swiped from some Euro-disco song somewhere. And over it all, Raymond “Nainz” Watts screams out his lungs (as his brain slowly rots) and Sascha gets the idea for a side project. An eccentric end to an eccentric album by what was at this point in its history still an eccentric band.
Front Line Assembly – Infra-Red Combat (Hard Wired)
The hardest-working band in electro-industrial music closes out an aggressive, hard-hitting album filled with post-apocalyptic horrors, Orwellian regimes, and an endless struggle for survival with a meticulously detailed soundscape that resolves into a song meditating on life, death, and afterlife. One of the things that distinguishes Front Line Assembly from many of their synth-slinging peers is the undercurrent of spirituality that flows through even their most nihilistic songs; this piece sees that undercurrent well up to the surface.
The Legendary Pink Dots – Hallway (Hallway of the Gods)
The Dots end their neo-psych-space-folk-goth-experimental epic freakout with a lengthy piece that touches on a recurring theme in Edward Ka-Spel’s canon: “What am I DOING here?” Pink Dots songs are populated by all sorts of poor fools who have no idea what they’re getting into – sometimes the ending is happy, as in “Princess Coldheart”, other times it’s tragic, as in “Lisa’s Separation”. Sometimes he’s the victim (“Remember Me This Way”), sometimes the perpetrator (“The Shock of Contact”), and sometimes just one of the crowd (“Tower One”). But nowhere does he bear the weight of the world like he does here. Here, we find poor little Edward being manipulated by forces he can’t comprehend, let alone control, in a place beyond all understanding, for purposes beyond all knowing, standing helplessly in “a hall… that leads to a hall… that leads to a hall… that leads to a hall…”, disappearing into his own insignificance as the music fades out but never, ever actually ends.
I’ll definitely give you “Decades” and “Going Up”. Beyond that:
Sisters of Mercy – Colours (Floodland) – This may be one of those tacked-on bonus tracks I was so grouchy about earlier, but this time it works.
Chemlab – Summer of Hate (Burn Out at the Hydrogen Bar) – Give or take a suture.
Snog – Fanfare for the Common Man/Woman (Third Mall from the Sun) – The exact opposite of LPD’s “Hallway”. If you’re going to be a pawn in someone else’s game, you might as well enjoy it.
Killing Joke – Mathematics of Chaos (Pandemonium) – Am I detecting a theme here?
Coil – Tainted Love (Scatology) – A fitting bookend with “Going Up”, in that John and Sleazy close their first and last albums with a completely recontextualized cover.
Pigface – You Know/You Know/You Know (A New High in Low) – Give or take the entire second disc. So it goes. Poo-tee-weet?
Assemblage 23 – 30kft (Storm) and The Cruellest Year (Compass) – Tom Shear knows a thing or two about sequencing an album.
:Wumpscut:- Recht vor Gnade (Cannibal Anthem) – Rudy R. briefly arrests his downward slide with this gorgeous slice of borrowed electro bliss courtesy of Yendri.
The Dresden Dolls – Sing (Yes, Virginia) – Just do it.
Revolting Cocks – Linger Ficken Good. ‘Nuff said.
Yeah, I was struck by how many industrial closers did seem, as you say, somewhat arbitrary. I’m wondering if that has something to do with a disdain for or disinterest in traditional rock tropes. The importance of the 12″ in early 80s industrial can’t really be overstated; maybe a lot of folks just weren’t thinking of the sequencing of their tracks as a priority.
Excellent call on “Summer Of Hate”. While I don’t think it’d crack my list, it’s the perfect way to end a Chemlab album and that album in particular.
1. The Cure – Pornography: Pornography
2. Siouxsie & The Banshees – The Rapture: Love Out Me
3. Cocteau Twins – Head Over Heels: Musette And Drums
4. Swans – The Burning World: God Damn The Sun
5. The Jesus And Mary Chain – Munki: I Hate Rock ‘N’ Roll
Oh man, “God Damn The Sun” totally should’ve been on my list. Good work, sir!
You can hear Eskil pronounce Joakim’s name at about 2:14 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyuhRxZBX88
It’s not what I would have guessed.
That was also not what I would have guessed. The more you know!
I don’t have a lot to add to the lists above, but Neuroticfish’s “Suffocating Right” is an excellent ending track. I’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned earlier.
Catching up after a bit of a podcast hiatus, so I’m coming to this party very late. This was a particularly enjoyable edition though – the art of closing an album “suitably” seems to be something of a rarity these days, relative to “back in the day”.
Anyway, I’m gonna cheat a bit, and post 5 industrial and 5 goth tracks, broadly speaking, just because I couldn’t whittle it down further right now. 😛
Assemblage 23 – 30KFT (Storm)
Combichrist – Without Emotions (Everybody Hates You)
Fad Gadget – Ad Nauseam (Gag)
Skinny Puppy – Daddyu Warbash (The Greater Wrong Of The Right)
Snow in China – Face To Face (Electromensch)
The Cult – Black Angel (Love)
The Cure – Bloodflowers (Bloodflowers)
Fields Of The Nephilim – And There Will Your Heart Be Also (Elizium)
Siouxsie & The Banshees – Rhapsody (Peepshow)
Sisters Of Mercy – I Was Wrong (Vision Thing)
And an honourable mention for:
Pixies – Gouge Away (Doolittle)