We Have a Technical 103: Breakin' One Off with Ol' Eddie
Call us Coleridge and Wordsworth, cuz we’re gettin’ all lyrical ballads like here. We kid, but lyrics are the topic du jour on this episode of the podcast. We’re each picking five songs whose lyrics have personally resonated with us. Our discovery of cybernoise.com‘s databases spins off into some revisiting of 1991’s highlights as well. All this week on the world’s number one industrial and related musics talk podcast! You can rate and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher, download directly, or stream from the widget down below!
Original version of suck with the Reznor is on GUB album – 1991.
Ah right, Mexico is the live album from the same year.
Thanks! I wanted to pipe in claiming that but wasn’t 100%; ain’t listened to “Gub” in a donkey’s age.
Great stuff, guys, as always. “In Search of My Rose” was a superb pick. “The Methuselah Tree”, too; I felt very satisfied with myself (and with the band) when I figured out that metaphor for the first time; it is indeed a powerful song. The world needs more bristlecone pine metaphors :).
Here are my picks:
1. Encephalon, “Mariana’s Trench”
The lyrics on The Transhuman Condition consistently excel at balancing big, conceptually thrilling ideas with emotional immediacy and relatability. The imagery of drowning and being crushed in the deepest part of Earth’s ocean perfectly captures the scale of a too-big too-fast too-far future built for machines and not humans, and also perfectly captures the feelings of helplessness that nonconforming individuals can feel in our current world.
2. Skinny Puppy, “Deep Down Trauma Hounds”
There’s an overabundance of goth/industrial songs about suicide but this is the only one I’ve ever heard that seems to be saying something that’s worth being said. “What’s the point of giving up? Leaving won’t change anything.” Immediately stuck out to me as one of Puppy’s most compelling songs.
3. :wumpscut:, “Embryodead”
:wumpscut: have had some absolutely cringe-inducing lyrics over the years, even on the good albums, but I’ve always felt that this album was a high point for the band lyrically. Having said that, I’ve chosen a song about dead babies–the definitive cliche in demonstrating edginess. But much like DDTH, it puts a compelling spin on this tired image. Sure, it’s not the most skillfully crafted set of words ever put to music–if Rudy weren’t writing in ESL I’d say it was downright sloppy–but the idea of killing an embryo for its own benefit to spare it from the pain of this world is affecting stuff. Just goes to show that sympathy can evoke horror just as well if not better than pointless violence.
4. Covenant, “Flux”
All of Sequencer is a lyrical masterpiece in my opinion, as well as just a masterpiece in general. This is my answer to your Seeming pick. Just a calm declaration that everything you know and love will die and be forgotten, and that’s only the beginning. “Slow Motion” is darker and more harrowing but there’s a certain juxtaposition of poetic grace and incredible bluntness to this song that really drives home the album’s desolate mood.
5. The Klinik, “Lies”
Dirk Ivens was never one to be longwinded. The lyrics are terse, pointed, iconic, and perfect. For me the Klinik are one of those rare bands whose aesthetic resonates with you so perfectly it almost feels like they exist solely to appeal to you.
Also R.E. your point about Snog’s constant re-releases, I feel a distinction has to be drawn between a moral or philosophical opposition to capitalism and the need/desire for material success within a capitalist society. I consider myself a pretty staunch anti-capitalist, but that isn’t going to stop me from pursuing a well-paying job or general financial gain. Recognizing that capitalist labor is exploitative and alienating doesn’t make any of my needs or wants go away; it just fosters resentment towards the current methods I’m presented with for achieving those needs and wants. I’d be more satisfied overall if the system were restructured so that I could pursue my goals without engaging with capitalism, but the fact of the matter is it’s the system I’m stuck within for the time being (and arguably the foreseeable future), and ignoring that fact isn’t going to accomplish anything.
Man you’ve given me a lot to chew on Valek! Would you be cool if we read this comment (the part related to Snog) and discussed it on next week’s show?
I’d be honored!