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Thought Industry – Mods Carve The Pig: Assassins, Toads And God’s Flesh (1993 – Metal Blade Records)

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– Horsepowered

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— Daterape Cookbook

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— Smirk the Godblender

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– To Build a Better Bulldozer

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2013 marks the twenty-year anniversary of the release of Thought Industry’s Mods Carve the Pig: Assassins, Toads and God’s Flesh. It was an album that was so ahead of its time that’s there’s still really nothing that sounds like it. Take the abrasive, confrontational nature of Ian McKay and Minor Threat, mix it with a bit of Primus’ penchant for off-kilter rhythms and cool basslines, combine that with a little alt. rock and then mix the whole thing with stream-of-consciousness lyrics about drug abuse, murder, drunk & disorderly fun and plenty of other similar topics and you’re on the right track. Even with that description, you’re not going to get the entire picture. The final track, ‘To Build a Better Bulldozer’, is an instrumental that sounds like Cynic mixed with Primus. Don’t take my word for it, though, check out the posted songs and then get the album at the Metal Blade Web Store.

BIO:

Thought Industry were a band out of Kalamazoo, Michigan that played a very strange version of progressive metal. Their initial demo was released under the name Desecrator, and was a strange hybrid of old-school Rush, John Arch-era Fates Warning and a bit of Metallica’s heaviness but it barely hinted at where the band would eventually end up. By the time they changed their name to Thought Industry and released their second demo, their sound was starting to take a more recognizable form. It was basically a progressive punk version of Metallica, but the band still weren’t satisfied. By the time of their debut, Songs for Insects, the band had moved even further into their own sound by building their songs around crazy rhythms and time changes that were delivered through a punk, metal and industrial package — mixed with a Mr. Bungle-ish sense of anything goes.

That still wasn’t good enough, though. For the band, Metallica style riffs and rhythms were still too normal; regardless of the fact that they were augmented by punk, industrial and breakneck changes. Thus, Mods Carve the Pig, was released in 1993. It dropped the overt metal influences and conventions and traded them for an abrasive sound that can only be called ‘progressive’ . The rhythms and structures were more alt. rock than metal at their foundation, but the breakneck changes were still present and the rhythmic strangeness had been increased 10-fold. This would be the last album by the band that could truly be considered ‘heavy’ and was also the final one to feature original drummer Dustin Donaldson.

The band’s third album, Outer Space is Just a Martini Away, marked a seismic shift in musical direction for the band. It dropped any pretense of heaviness and moved in a punky alt. rock direction that was still progressive and quirky, just different. This is the album that began the revolving door of musicians as all of the originals slowly moved on, eventually leaving Brent Oberlin as the sole founding member. Some have described this as kind of a Pixies meets Fugazi while on acid kind of vibe — the description fits.

By the time Black Umbrella was released, original guitarist Christopher Lee had already left to pursue other musical endeavors — with second guitarist Paul Enzio leaving shortly after its release. If Outer Space is a Martini Away was the acid trip, then Black Umbrella is the regretful morning after. It is easily the band’s most conventional and depressing album. The strange lyrics had been replaced with tales of alcoholism and regret, and the random effects that had always been a part of the band’s sound had totally been dismissed. It still retained a bit of the band’s quirky personality, but it was definitely done in a subdued, stripped down alt. rock style.

The band’s final album, Short Wave on a Cold Day, ditched the depressing, stripped down alt. rock of its predecessor in favor of an atmospheric, synth-laden, alt. rock sound that definitely shares a little bit with Ok Computer-era Radiohead without being an imitation. This album is largely considered the best of the band’s albums (not featuring the entire original line-up).

Thought Industry (1993)





Willie
01.22.13
Because I can. Don't be lazy -- check out all four tracks.

greg84
01.22.13
I love this band. Mods Carve The Pig is such a mind-bending record. It may actually be my favorite prog metal album.

Voivod
01.22.13
Deep down into the underground.

Awesome job as usual Trey.

Willie
01.22.13
It's definitely one of my top prog bands. Voivod, have you heard these guys before?

Voivod
01.22.13
I have listened to their debut only, great album but I wasn't too amazed, "Mods..." must be a lot better.

Yazz_Flute
01.22.13
SCRAAAAAPE

Willie
01.22.13
@Voivod: it is. Check out the songs on here.

TheCrocodile
01.22.13
I have a physical copy of this one and I must admit it's quite excellent.

Willie
01.22.13
Hell yeah. This is one album where it truly was worth owning the actual physical disc just in order to be able to appreciate the lyrics and all of the random side notes placed within... etc.

JamieTwort
01.22.13
Awesome band/album.

Willie
01.23.13
Yep. Metal Blade linked to the story.

https://www.facebook.com/metalbladerecords

Yazz_Flute
01.23.13
I'd love to get my hands on a physical copy of Mods.

Willie
01.23.13
Yeah. It's used or nothing if you're looking for the physical version. It's totally worth it, though.

Jom
01.23.13
Love reading stuff like this and listening to something I normally wouldn't seek out. Glad to see it get recognized by the label, too!

Mookid
01.23.13
Incredibly weird band but they are really good

OneMoreRoland
01.23.13
Holy shit?! This is so damn good

Willie
01.23.13
Yep.

wabbit
01.23.13
I think industrial music has never been better.

Willie
01.23.13
Funny.

Mookid
01.24.13
Lol what is Industrial anyway? Apparently it's in my pie chart but all of it is Futurepop

Willie
01.24.13
@Jom: What did you think of it?

@Mookid: You can't trust the Industrial genre tag on this site. It encompasses everything from future pop to metal bands with a Mac -- and it all falls under the "Metal" genre.

KILL
01.25.13
great shit willie, lately i've been loving songs for insects a lil bit harder but still mods is fucking awesome. should listen to their later stuff more too rly

Geadom
02.06.13
I kinda liked their first album, but the second one gave me a serious headache (in a good way). Need to relisten.

turnip90210
02.15.13
How did I not know this before? Thank you very much.

Willie
02.15.13
How did you not know this was here or how did you not know about this band?

turnip90210
02.15.13
The band. Stuff is epic.

Willie
02.15.13
Hell yeah. I'm glad you discovered them here.

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