Godflesh
Streetcleaner


5.0
classic

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
April 3rd, 2009 | 428 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist


Streetcleaner is the second album from pioneering industrial metal group Godflesh. At this point of their career, the electronics weren't quite as prominent as they would become so it would probably be best to describe the album more as an exercise in lo-fi doom metal with pulsating drum machines driving it then much else. Indeed, on Streetcleaner the focus is primarily on sluggish, foreboding rhythms and the swirling feedback which colours these sections. It is a gloomy, abrasive, and most importantly an immersive listen that I would compare much more closely to Isis then anything else.

Justin K. Broadrick was founding member and frontman, best known today as frontman of post-metal group Jesu. He acts here as guitarist for the most part (Paul Neville performing nearly a third of the album) and vocalist. The Godflesh sound is one driven by repetitive, crushing riffs and dissonant guitar leads, the drum machine keeping everything in time with a mechanical, soulless intensity. Broadricks vocals are gruff screaming, often indecipherable with lyrics that are more or less repeated lines that sound anti-social without actually seeming to have any inherent meaning (Don't hold me back/This is my own hell/Christbait, slugbait/Rise and bring you down). Analysing them will no doubt cause disappointment but it doesn't seem the point here because in the context of the music they sound dramatically intense, sharpening the edge of the hellish murk to a sharp point.

Streetcleaner is an exceptionally repetitive album, but this seems mainly because the group isn't afraid to draw out the best qualities of a good idea over time and build dynamics from it. The riffs are sludgy and thick, the guitar leads a shrieking pierce and with the pulsating and mechanical electronic drums (credited simply as Machine) both these fuse together flawlessly for a hour of dramatic evil. The album is an excursion into hell, from the opener Like Rats to Locust Furnace (Suction if you have the version with the Tiny Tears EP) Streetcleaner is a masterpiece in minimalist metal.



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user ratings (408)
Chart.
4.3
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other reviews of this album
GenericRant (5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
April 3rd 2009


5524 Comments


Regarding length, this repetitive nature of this album led me to feel I should just try and capture the general feel of it. I couldn't pad it out much more then this and nitpick sections without feeling like I was just drawing it out far too much, so I apologise beforehand if people feel it is far too short.

Willie
Moderator
April 3rd 2009


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Nice review. I haven't heard this is in a while but I remember being completely unimpressed.

This Message Edited On 04.03.09

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

BallsToTheWall
April 3rd 2009


44785 Comments


This is supposed to be one of the essential industrial albums to own. Haventt acquired yet but now this gives me the push to do so. Nice work.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

WarAllTheTime988
April 4th 2009


360 Comments


I agree with Willie in being completely unimpressed. I found this for like 8 bucks or something and was stoked and than was just totally let down. I'll be honest I'm not some huge industrial fan or anything but had heard so much good stuff that I was quite interested.

Willie
Moderator
April 4th 2009


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I'll be honest I'm not some huge industrial fan or anything but had heard so much good stuff that I was quite interested.
I am a huge industrial fan and still didn't find much to be interested in here. I think a lot of the hype surrounding this album is based on nostalgia by people who probably haven't heard it in years (I'm not saying Meatplow is one of those people, I'm sure he listened to it before reviewing it).

This Message Edited On 04.03.09

WarAllTheTime988
April 4th 2009


360 Comments


Yeah, I found this through Sputnik - and was immediately turned on by "Similar Bands" tag on the front page, loving all of them with the exception of Ministry, but yeah - pretty letdown.

Willie
Moderator
April 4th 2009


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Well, there's no doubt that Godflesh inspired a lot of other really good bands but their output is a little overstated. What Ministry album did you hear? Try Rio Grande Blood or Psalm 69 if you're willing to give them another chance.

WarAllTheTime988
April 4th 2009


360 Comments


Truthfully I don't know - I know I've heard bits and pieces of things and while it wasn't bad it didn't really make me want to go out and buy something kinda thing. I'll see if any of my buddies have those - I'll give 'em a shot, just like I said not huge on industrial! Thanks for the recs though man!

Merkaba33
April 4th 2009


702 Comments


i wanna check this out but it's not very high on my list right now.

Meatplow
April 4th 2009


5524 Comments


I am a huge industrial fan and still didn't find much to be interested in here. I think a lot of the hype surrounding this album is based on nostalgia by people who probably haven't heard it in years


I can understand that, when I first listened to it I wasn't particularly impressed and by no means did it feel like an album that would be rewarding with multiple listens. The repetitive, simple structures didn't appeal to me much, as far as industrial metal goes Godflesh seem to have less variety then most. This to me this is not necessarily a bad thing. There is a uniform sound throughout each album i've heard, and whilst some might consider this a drag nowadays I can really immerse myself in it with the right mood.

Have you heard Pure? Where Streetcleaner has a dark, murky sound I can sense a lot of disliking Pure is much more "vibrant" in production I suppose. Seems to be a lot of reverb over everything, idk, it has a unique sound to me.

Willie
Moderator
April 4th 2009


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I've heard all of Streetcleaner and random songs from albums since then, but nothing has really got my attention.

Meatplow
April 4th 2009


5524 Comments


Fair call. I prefer a lot of other industrial to Godflesh but the few albums I have listened to a lot hold a special place to me.

Willie
Moderator
April 4th 2009


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

My intro to industrial was Skinny Puppy's "Too Dark Park" and Ministry's "The Mind is a Terrible Thing..." so I guess I was spoiled.

Meatplow
April 4th 2009


5524 Comments


I listened to this after I discovered that Ministry album, but before Too Dark Park. lulz

I prefer that kind of industrial though, with so much more complexity to it. Been listening to more noise/power electronics orientated stuff like Brighter Death Now, Sutcliffe Jugend, Control recently, struggling a little but still curious nonetheless.

Willie
Moderator
April 4th 2009


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I got the new Wumpscut from Metropolis records about a month ago and that is really good. It comes out next week.

Meatplow
April 4th 2009


5524 Comments


Nice, I have one of their older albums I think. Born Again?

Willie
Moderator
April 4th 2009


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I don't know anything about them, honestly. I've only heard there new one but it's really good. Better than the new KMFDM.

This Message Edited On 04.04.09

Essence
April 4th 2009


3587 Comments


My problem with this is the extremely soft production.

Willie
Moderator
April 4th 2009


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I do remember this having kind of a hollow production.

Meatplow
April 4th 2009


5524 Comments


It could most certainly benefit from lack of this. But, it doesn't bother me anymore



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