Godflesh
Streetcleaner


5.0
classic

Review

by Simon CONTRIBUTOR (225 Reviews)
July 7th, 2018 | 33 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Streetdecimator

Amidst the densely populated battlefield of bands and artists, the war can occasionally furnish a bleak outlook. A perception that previews music as a collective being swallowed up entirely by its contrived fad-focused flocks, who fight to over-saturate their chosen scenes into becoming stagnantly formulaic and conservative processes. But as every decade has proven, just as it looks like all hope is about to dissipate forever, at some point that said decade will give birth to a game-changing album; a genre defying masterpiece that will spur on another vicious cycle of echoic music making. These innovative reinventions might not be to everyone’s tastes, but a wise person can appreciate the tenacity for change. For the 80s, Godflesh contributed critically to metal’s evolution just before the turn of the 90s. At face-value Godflesh’s influences might not have been the nuclear explosion of Nirvana’s work, but it was certainly the nerve agent for the underground scene and has heralded an infinite supply of inspiration ever since.

1989 was a year that saw heavy metal on the down and out. The thrash and hair-metal bands at the start of the decade were beginning to overstay their welcome and a new strand for the genre was due to surface. Coming off the heels of their menacing self-titled EP, Godflesh answered the call with their exceptional debut album Streetcleaner. This album, as well as the EP, took the archetypal stylings of Throbbing Gristle’s industrial genius and fused it with sludgy, down-tempos and crushing riffs. Justin and G. C. Green’s upbringing in the industrially unwelcoming landscape of Birmingham (Much like in the same way Black Sabbath drew their inspirations from a post-World War II Birmingham.) plays an importance to Streetcleaner’s unique aesthetic. You can hear as many duplicated efforts that try to sound like this as you want, but there’s an inimitable quality to this LP that, to this day, can rarely be heard nearly as well. The cold, emotionless drone from the album’s drum machine clicks add further disconsolate and isolation, while Broadrick’s pulsed vocal spurts galvanise a finality to the tone of the tracks. I can’t emphasis the intimidation enough: as if the iconic artwork depicting a field of blacked out crucified men and the engulfment of fire surrounding them isn’t telling enough, I can only imagine the effect it would have on someone hearing the feedback introduction to “Like Rats” for the first time back in 1989 with Justin’s demonically declarative snarl of ”you breed like rats” coming into play.

When Streetcleaner isn’t paving the way for an entire generation with its fresh perception on nihilistic aggression, it’s using stripped back root notes and hypnotic rhythm arrangements to do the rest of the lifting. G. C. Green’s iconic bass tone is simply unmatched and, like everything else going on in the record, adds further despondency to the forlorn throughout. The crunching drives and swings to the likes of “Dream Long Dead”, “Christbait Rising” and “Wound” or his pinpoint syncopation with the lifeless drums creates an unprecedented mayhem. From Broadrick’s end, he takes his guitar playing to a place of minimalism, relying on different types of feedback, effects and distortion to form depth and texture to this soupy nightmare. “Dead Head” highlights just how frantic and cathartic this abrasive LP can be, filled with a pummelling rhythm section, ethereal elongated vocal notes and descending chords this song shows an ironic sense of optimism for a brief moment in the album’s journey.

The importance of Streetcleaner is irrefutable. Arguably the founding blueprint for industrial-metal – an argument I stand in favour of – Godflesh not only come out of the gate with a brand new and influential sound, they walk out of it with their first album. It’s no surprise they’ve gone on to reinvent themselves and the wheel time and time again without so much as a stain on their catalogue of music. If you’re a fan of industrial-metal and haven’t got around to checking this out, drop what you’re doing and get your headphones in. 30-years on from when this mad journey started and they still know how to engage their fans with albums like Post Self, but it’s here where hell unleashes itself.

ESSENTIAL.

FORMATS//EDITIONS: D̶I̶G̶I̶T̶A̶L̶/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/̶ 2-CD (REMASTERED)

PACKAGING: 10-Panel Digi-pak with descriptions on each panel explaining the album's creation.

SPECIAL EDITION: The second disc contains various mixes of tracks, as well as live versions, but the key selling point for the remaster is its exceptional mixing and mastering overhaul which makes the album sound that little bit more punishing.

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://godfleshband.bandcamp.com/album/streetcleaner



Recent reviews by this author
Architects Holy HellThought Gang Thought Gang
Tenacious D Post-ApocalyptoThe Prodigy No Tourists
Black Sheep Wall I'm Going to Kill MyselfGreta Van Fleet Anthem of the Peaceful Army
user ratings (670)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Meatplow (5)
...

canadapantsman (5)
...

GenericRant (5)
A Massive beast that has yet to be topped in terms of its originality and brutality....

jk2two (5)
...

related reviews

Messiah

Pure

Hymns

Selfless


Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2018


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my 200th review, so I wanted to review something special. Plus I'm going to see them in a tiny wood shack next Saturday so it seemed fitting.

SherlockChris9021
July 7th 2018


134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, congratulations on your 200th review! This is one brilliant debut album, great review too. Still such a shame that they could not break out from the cult status, but metal somehow sounds better when it is not too mainstream, and this album is a perfect example. I will check this album later if I have time.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2018


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cheers man.



Yeah, it's sad they never fully broke out, but their contributions don't go unnoticed in the underground music scene which is closure at least.

SherlockChris9021
July 7th 2018


134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, they already made quite some notice, as such notice is strong enough to get the attention of some mainstream music press. Just take a look at Rolling Stone Magazine's 100 greatest heavy metal albums of all time list, for example, this album actually gained a spot in the list.



Whether you like RS Magazine or not, it's nice to see such cult band gained recognition from a mainstream publication.

y87arrow
July 7th 2018


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think early Swans (first two Swans albums, obviously) and Killing Joke (album "What's This For", especially the bleak-ness and the repetitive nature) were among the influences for Godflesh, at least I could see it.

Great album, same with the self-titled and Selfless. Haven't heard the other albums yet.

Digging: Josef K - The Only Fun in Town

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 7th 2018


28399 Comments


Congrats on the big 2-0-0. A massive achievement in itself, but even better when they're all high quality reviews. Great review, and thank you for your contributions around here.

Digging: John Nolan - Abendigo

Relinquished
July 7th 2018


38416 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

now go check the record out Sowing

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 7th 2018


28399 Comments


Industrial/Sludge Metal...hmm...

Relinquished
July 7th 2018


38416 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

don't let the tags or review fool you, it can get pretty poppy

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2018


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks sow, means a lot you saying that.



And relinquished, best flesh?

Relinquished
July 7th 2018


38416 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

bro tbh Post Self blew me completely away that I may say it could beat this one

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2018


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha it's funny, I've been thinking lately post self could well stand up to this

Relinquished
July 7th 2018


38416 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

legit they should not release anything else under this project to leave it at its highest note. JKB's current techno work is supremely solid anyway.

Dissonant
July 7th 2018


270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Anything Broadrick does is golden IMO



Amazing album, probably my first real introduction into metal (even though Broadrick doesn't consider Godflesh a real "industrial metal" band)

Dissonant
July 7th 2018


270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nice review too

conesmoke
July 7th 2018


5906 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. Nice

bloc
July 7th 2018


53073 Comments


Never listened to this yet.

But daaaamn son 200 reviews already! That's amazing.

Digging: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Organisation

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2018


14897 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cheers guys.



And make the leap bloc, this thing is fucking amazing

Relinquished
July 7th 2018


38416 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yea it's 80s enough for u to dig

bloc
July 7th 2018


53073 Comments


Aww, you know I like the 80s. It's been on my computer for a while so I will get to it soon.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy