Thought Industry
Black Umbrella


3.5
great

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
December 16th, 2008 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


Michigan’s forgotten chameleon metal band Thought Industry exemplified new environments with each release, and through the changes in sound never lost the visions and messages and stories they wished to get across. Their last album, the first to indulge in unsystematic, quasi alternative sounds, had been forgotten by the band, and they dropped everything to establish a new, bleak path. Fortunately for people with weird perspectives, like me, this is one of those albums not many people will enjoy, due to its raw, depression-filled nihilism.

The song structures are strangely conventional, or at least for this band. They follow a formula to varying measures of success…and somehow at first listen nothing makes any sense at all. That declaration alone doesn’t make any sense; the older albums had nothing remotely conventional about them, the bassist made Victor Wooten look like Michael Anthony, so now they tone all the instruments down, writing with a more standard structure, and it’s on this album where they don’t make sense. Whatever, the point is that this album is hard to digest the first one or two or ten listens, but once you reach the greener grass you’ll have an alternative album unlike any other. Plus, this has an interesting attribute of what I call “LP format” where it sounds like the first half of the album is in its own right from the second half, as if you have to flip your record over to hear part two.

The story of the album plays out like a drunken December when everything in your life has, to put it bluntly, **** on you. The lyrics read like an autobiography at times as well:

Screw yesterday, or two hours back
because the pubs have kicked me out again, and the Christmas lights make me pissed
I stumble through the snow into a dimestore nativity scene
I fell asleep on baby Jesus with my books on Joseph’s back
The snow had turned to rain while I dreamt I was falling
a stick to the ribs can rouse the drunken dead, and so this cop has his fingers round my neck
screaming “blah blah blah, let’s see that license, blah blah blah, how could you do this?”
Christmas eve is a beautiful day to have breakfast in the tank


In the booklet, the lyrics are written in a really blotted pen, and at parts there are bits of “weep, boo hoo, sob” written. The pictures of the band members show them as either asleep, zoned out, or drunk. The rudimentary drawings that make up the artwork seem to exemplify a sort of sub-story; it looks like sex going on in all of them. The drawings are so crude it’s as if Brent locked himself away to make these right before the lyrics. It’s really no wonder the songs sound like they do.

When you listen to Thought Industry, you usually expect a schizophrenic metal/hardcore madness to ensue, as if you’re happily running over a bunch of brand new babies with a lawnmower while eating your veggies like a good boy. However, with this record it’s as if you walked to a grand piano shop, found a discarded Steinway, and tipped it over onto your head, and just laid there. You have nothing to do but think about what just happened, and that’s just the way you want it for now.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
foreverendeared
December 16th 2008


14678 Comments


good review. honestly, i'm not interested in this band at all though :/

Willie
Moderator
December 16th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Awesome review. I'm glad someone finally did it.

Foreverendeared, how could you not be interested in at least one album by this band???

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

fireaboveicebelow
December 16th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks guys

Willie is the album after this even worth listening to?

foreverendeared
December 16th 2008


14678 Comments


i know i know. I'll probably check out an album by these guys some time in the future. i'm just not interested right now

Willie
Moderator
December 16th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

The album after this is largely considered their best. Even by people that love their first two... and I'd have to say that it comes pretty damn close... so yeah.

Just to clarify, we're talking "Short Wave on a Cold Day", right?

fireaboveicebelow
December 16th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no, I already reviewed that haha

I'm talking about Recruited To Do Good Deeds For The Devil

Willie
Moderator
December 16th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

oh... for some reason I thought Balls did that one. Anyway, no. That is a collection of random B-Sides and other crap. I have it cause I'm obsessed, but for the average fan... no.

fireaboveicebelow
December 16th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you know if you think about all the people who check things out based on a staff reviewing it, this band should be super popular around here

Willie
Moderator
December 16th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Yeah, except I didn't review any of these albums as Staff. That would have been cool though, because there are a lot of people that would have liked at least one or two of their albums.

fireaboveicebelow
December 16th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well if this pseudo reunion produces anything then I hope you'll be all over it

Willie
Moderator
December 16th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Well, I'm in pretty constant contact with the drummer from the first two albums so if anything is going on I'll definitely be on it.

fireaboveicebelow
December 16th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

does he still live in Michigan?

it would be so cool to jam with himThis Message Edited On 12.16.08

Willie
Moderator
December 16th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

No, he lives in Northern California. He's in the band I Am Spoonbender now. He does vocals, percussion, programming. I reviewed their last album too (and it's free from their site... the link is at the end of the review).

SteelErectedb4you8er
February 14th 2010


2618 Comments


Brent Oberlin lived in Boston last I knew, not doing too much with music that I know of. This album is great. It was their departure from being heavy, but still awesome.

Yazz_Flute
March 12th 2012


18802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm digging this quite a bit.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Willie
Moderator
March 12th 2012


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

It's definitely a change for them.

Yazz_Flute
April 5th 2012


18802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pink Dumbo is definitely my favorite here.

Willie
Moderator
April 5th 2012


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

This is the Thought Industry album that I listen to the least, so I'm not 100% on what song that is but I'll check it out.

Yazz_Flute
April 6th 2012


18802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's the one with the particularly venomous verses and the awesomely short guitar solo and the wah-drenched guitar riffs and the best chorus on the album.

Willie
Moderator
April 6th 2012


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Hell yeah. Okay, that's my fav from this album too.



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