Throbbing Gristle
The Second Annual Report


4.5
superb

Review

by montague USER (15 Reviews)
May 6th, 2006 | 27 replies | 7,340 views


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Some people say that The Beatles or Led Zeppelin or Elvis invented rock'n'roll. But to say such a thing for a genre as diverse as rock'n'roll would be foolish. However, when it comes to the origins of the british noise/art movement known as Industrial, there can be no mistake that Throbbing Gristle were the first: they made the sound, they formed the label, hell they even came up with the word.

The Second Annual Report of Throbbing Gristle is neither an annual report nor a second one. The "formal report" approach to the album is a satire on the "industrial" world of 70s london in which the band formed.

That said, on SAR, the band (transvestite Genesis P-orridge, technology freak Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, and "junkie hangers on" Cosey Fanni-Tutti and Chris Carter) take their lack of musical knowledge and turn it on the listener from the first listen.

On "Slug Bait" (the first one), a slowly pulsing drone is matched by waning sirens as a decidedly creepy Genesis P-orridge describes a home invasion to the pregnant woman whos husband he is mutilating, in his gentle but indifferent monotone that makes such later TG tracks such as "Hamburger Lady" so eerie. Its time to check your cd liner notes. Yes, this album did come out just 12 months after the skyrocket success of punk in london. When "god save the queen" was the most offensive thing on earth, Genesis and co. were 'singing' of eating babies.

The following 2 tracks are live tracks of "Slug Bait", neither of which greatly resemble the first track at all. All distorted car sounds and radio samples, the two tracks are more experiments in aleatoric instrumentation than alternate takes on a TG classic.

The same technique is used for Maggot Death, with the first version being the 'definer' track, comprised of reverb-laden knob-turning and gasping, howling vocal tyrades, climaxing in a sea of white noise. The next three versions of Maggot Death are just experiments under the same name, with Maggot Death (2) and (3) each under the 1:40 mark. As a matter of technicality, (3) is just Chris Carter swearing at the crowd at the Rat Club, calling them "ignorant ***heads" before a brief punk-break (clearly provided by another band) ends the track.

After Cease To Exist is the soundtrack to a short film compiled by the band under the title Coum Productions. Taking a lead from cocaine-era Brian Eno, the song takes uneasy bass tones and overlays them with shimmering and beautiful synth twitters, which are soon lost to grinding distortion spikes, as the song bends itself and the listener all the way past 20 minutes in length, turning in every direction possible short of an accessible one.

Zyclon B Zombie pounds uneasily on your ears for a few minutes, nothing more than a clattering tempo of untuned guitar strum and tape loops, recorded on a walkman at the back of a club.

United closes the album on a bizzarely clean note, with audible melodies from both the synthesisers and Genesis' vocals, and even a solid BPM throughout the whole song, sounding like the Clash cut up with ketamine and heroin.

Second Annual Report is a brash, fearsome and chilling collection of songs from a groundbreaking band. To some it will be nothing more than an unaccesible experiment. To other (and mainly fans of the genre) it will be a masterful demonstration of minimalism and animalism designed to rethink the bonudaries of popular music

****1/2

4 and a half stars.



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user ratings (75)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
masada
May 7th 2006



2733 Comments


This sounds awesome.

the_misery_chick
May 7th 2006



76 Comments


Yep. Great review too. I've heard of Throbbing Gristle, but never really looked into them. But this sounds fantastic.

SubtleDagger
May 7th 2006



737 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think this is a 4.5 or as good as The Third and Final Report, but it is Throbbing Gristle so of course it's pretty good.

smokersdieyounger
May 7th 2006



672 Comments


A band Ive ignored for too long, sure it should go in metal though? Thier songs dont follow the structures metal does, or the sounds of metal.

AlienEater
May 7th 2006



716 Comments


this is awesome

"Freshly Baked"
July 3rd 2006



583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, I loved industrial for a long time, and when I read of the genre's origins, I had to look into TG.

Needless to say I loved what I heard. I love experimental music, and I love industrial. This album is hard to listen to all the way through at first, but once you "Get it", you love it.

RIght now I give it a 4, but It'll prolly grow on me even more.

I'm doing a review on 20 Jazz Funk Greats very soon. Which is my favorite TG album that I have heard. I'm still stuck between giving it a 4.5 or 5. So I need to listen to it some more and make my mind up.

Great Review You described the music pretty well, which is hard to do for this album

Badgeman
March 2nd 2007



12 Comments


I love this CD, although personally I think First Annual Report is better

Insignificant
August 1st 2007



7 Comments


"Post-psychedelic trash", as described by Genesis himself. Apt description of that
unnatural whorling sound... Cool when you're in the mood, but oddly numbing either
way. Definitely not for the inexperienced.

P.S. Chris Carter's rant precedes a version of "Maggot Death" on the source cassette
(from TG24); Perversely, the LP version cuts out right before the song starts!This Message Edited On 08.01.07

Meatplow
July 29th 2009



5524 Comments


This is great. I prefer 20 Jazz Funk Greats still, however.

ThroneOfAgony
May 10th 2012



3485 Comments


20 Jazz Funk Greats was okay, the only song I really could grasp onto was 'Convincing People.'

I need to purchase this though

Headspace Entity
May 17th 2012



18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

asdfasdfapbdfpasdfpbpafbd

LifeAsAChipmunk
October 3rd 2012



4854 Comments


This is awesome.

YankeeDudel
April 1st 2013



9292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

throbbing grundle

Digging: Ravi Shankar - Three Ragas

XGX
April 1st 2013



162 Comments


heavier than spk

Cygnatti
April 1st 2013



20122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is my first industrial band. :/

Digging: Lo-Fang - Blue Film

YankeeDudel
April 2nd 2013



9292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

throbs so nice

XGX
April 2nd 2013



162 Comments


psychic tv be dancin, and gristle murderin jews whilla coil be prayin

Havey
April 2nd 2013



9322 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is my first industrial band. :/

couldn't have chosen a better one.

Digging: Tim McGraw - Not a Moment Too Soon

somnolence
July 28th 2013



405 Comments


veast alvbm

Kman418
July 28th 2013



8631 Comments


i should check these guys

Digging: Kanye West - Late Registration



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