Rating:
9.5
Godflesh - Streetcleaner
November 1989


Disc I
01. Like Rats
02. Christbait Rising
03. Pulp
04. Dream Long Dead
05. Head Dirt
06. Street Cleaner
07. Devastator
08. Mighty Trust Krusher
09. Life Is Easy
10. Locust Furnace
11. Tiny Tears [bonus]
12. Wound [bonus]
13. Dead Head [bonus]
14. Suction [bonus]

Disc II [2010 Remaster re-release]
01. Like Rats [Original Unreleased Mix]
02. Christbait Rising [Original Unreleased Mix]
03. Pulp [Original Unreleased Mix]
04. Dream Long Dead [Original Unreleased Mix]
05. Head Dirt [Original Unreleased Mix]
06. Streetcleaner [Live In Geneva 1990]
07. Head Dirt [Live In Geneva 1990]
08. Pulp [Rehearsal May 1989]
09. Dream Long Dead [Rehearsal April 1989]
10. Christbait Rising [Rehearsal April 1989]
11. Deadhead [Original Demo Guitar & Machine 1988]
12. Suction [Original Demo Guitar & Machine 1988]


"Streetcleaner", to cut right down to it, is a thoroughly crushing, punishing, unforgiving, and unrelenting album.

The album cover itself foreshadows the content within - about a dozen bodies strewn up on crosses against a napalm-colored haze background. The music within is every bit as bleak as that image.

Featuring GC Green on Bass, Justin Broadrick -formerly of Napalm Death - on guitars and vocals, as well as a drum machine, the duo/trio assault the listener with a soulcrushing 10(14*) track performance. GC's bass and the machine lay down a solid groove while Justin's rhythm guitar acts to heighten the tension… with Justin focusing on playing the guitar more like a percussive instrument than it's traditional role. He even uses gold plated guitar picks to give his harmonic squeals even more of a cutting metallic bite.

The lyrics themselves are every bit as oppressive, stark, and minimalist as the imagery and music. They are more like short poems emoted out over the music. Examples include such lines as "Christbait rising. Bring you down", "Don't hold me back, this is my own hell", and "Don't look back, you were dead from the beginning." Those aren't tiny samples of lyrics - those lines are, pretty much, the entire lyrics to three different tracks.

The first couple tracks are fairly upbeat and rocking - at least within the Godflesh context - and do a great job of both foreshadowing the mood to come as well as a sucking the listener in.

By the time the listener gets to the fifth track, "Head Dirt", the intensity has continued to grow even if the tempo has lessened, and by the sixth track, "Devastator/Mighty Trust Krusher" it's hopeless. You are finished. Your psyche is stripped, bare, devoid of ego, and laid to waste against a cold, unfeeling world. "Life is Easy" and "Streetcleaner" continue to punish your inert mind and body, like kicks directed against a defenseless victim, before the 'regular' album culminates with "Locust Furnance" - in which Justin's previously sparse vocal performance rises and matches in intensity to the rest of the music. As the track rises to a crescendo, you can feel his pain and scorn as he bellows out those words.

If you are lucky enough to score a version of the disc with the four bonus tracks, at least Justin, GC, and the machine kick the tempo back up to help uplift you after this fairly mindnumbing, brutal session.

All in all, I would highly recommend this album to those of you who are opened minded and looking for nihilistic, crushing music that really challenges the listener. On the other hand, if you are just looking for the next flavor of the month, color by number "album that fucking rocks :banger;" - don't bother wasting your timer or money. I'm sure Boregoroth or Cheesicide will have another album out soon you can piss it away on.

* Add'l notes -my version of the CD contains the bonus tracks from the Tiny Tears EP - Tiny Tears, Wound, Dead Head, Suction.


Band profile: Godflesh
Album: Streetcleaner


 


written by Xnoybis | 06.11.2005


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Mr. Doctor - 12.11.2009 at 11:24  
What the... this review is 4 years old and not a single comment? What's the matter with the people here? This stuff is pure gold.

Your review explained the content of the cd very well. it's such a crushing and unforgiving masterpiece. I's pretty much flawless.

The four bonus tracks are also very sweet. Rawer and faster but having the same atmosphere. Although I really like the ending of Locust Furnace and it would be very good if the album ended there, leaving you tired... It's kind of sad that the album doesn't stop with that track but I can't really complain at all with the bonus tracks being very good as well.

Amazing album and a review that does it justice.

edit. Oh.. and happy birthday btw... I took my copy of Streetcleaner to school and I didn't knew it was your birthday when I was going to post here. The coincidence maded me smile since it's pretty much for this review I started to have interest with this band.
Xnoybis - 12.11.2009 at 17:46  
Thanks, it is an amusing coincidence. i guess it's not terribly shocking that this review has been up for that long without comment, it's not like Godflesh is in any danger of overrunning Iron Maiden or Opeth on the MS popularity charts.
Mr. Doctor - 12.11.2009 at 18:07  
Written by Xnoybis on 12.11.2009 at 17:46

i guess it's not terribly shocking that this review has been up for that long without comment


I guess you're right, although I'm surprised mostly because I expected comments for those who posted on the main Justin Broadrick thread. This album is probably more than 50% of the reason to why that thread exist
tea[m]ster - 02.05.2010 at 22:29  
I got into Godflesh when checking out Earache Records back in the day (mostly cause of Carcass). I believe Kirk Hammett said Godlesh is the heaviest band he had ever heard. Great Review - "Boregoroth & Cheesicide" = genius
3rdWorldFuckface - 30.11.2011 at 14:43  
I cant say its crushing or punishing , it could be because i've gone through fear factory records hundreds of times but this one is surely a classic industrial record.Almost minimalistic and the drone-like guitars add a great industrial vibe for sure.
Mr. Doctor - 30.11.2011 at 16:06  
Written by Guest on 30.11.2011 at 14:43

I cant say its crushing or punishing , it could be because i've gone through fear factory records hundreds of times but this one is surely a classic industrial record.Almost minimalistic and the drone-like guitars add a great industrial vibe for sure.


Well, this album was pretty much what influenced almost the entire Industrial metal scene, FF included so no wonder some bands did the crushing-thing in a similar way and tried to outdo their teacher (they all failed imo). I personally feel this album to be far more punishing probably because it's one of the most "empty" records I've heard in my life while other industrial bands still have a "human" sound to them. Godflesh is devoid of any feeling in that aspect and therefore a true industrial sound.
3rdWorldFuckface - 30.11.2011 at 17:45  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 30.11.2011 at 16:06

Godflesh is devoid of any feeling in that aspect and therefore a true industrial sound.

Maybe Yes... Because this album grows on me more and more each time i give it a spin unlike FF records which really drain out after repetitive spins. And yes this record is a draining experience indeed!!
Xnoybis - 01.12.2011 at 19:26  
Written by Guest on 30.11.2011 at 17:45

Written by Mr. Doctor on 30.11.2011 at 16:06

Godflesh is devoid of any feeling in that aspect and therefore a true industrial sound.

Maybe Yes... Because this album grows on me more and more each time i give it a spin unlike FF records which really drain out after repetitive spins. And yes this record is a draining experience indeed!!


it's a completely different experience than FF, which come out later... FF (at least the first two) is death metal with other elements tossed in. it was cool for it's time (again, the first two), but a completely different animal.

"Streetcleaner" isn't about being overtly straightforward. It is slow, crushing, and smothering.

the best comparison between this album/act and another industrial metal forerunner appeared in some magazine nearly 20 years ago. "Ministry is the soundtrack to the end of the world... if the end of the world is a giant party. Godflesh is the soundtrack to the end of the world if we all die cold, miserable and alone." Or something to that effect.
Mr. Doctor - 01.12.2011 at 21:51  
Written by Xnoybis on 01.12.2011 at 19:26
"Ministry is the soundtrack to the end of the world... if the end of the world is a giant party. Godflesh is the soundtrack to the end of the world if we all die cold, miserable and alone." Or something to that effect.


That was beautiful man...


... It's just the same people posting for this album, how lame is that?
Xnoybis - 01.12.2011 at 21:59  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 01.12.2011 at 21:51

Written by Xnoybis on 01.12.2011 at 19:26
"Ministry is the soundtrack to the end of the world... if the end of the world is a giant party. Godflesh is the soundtrack to the end of the world if we all die cold, miserable and alone." Or something to that effect.


That was beautiful man...


... It's just the same people posting for this album, how lame is that?


we're just the few, the proud, those that get it.

that and i receive notifications when this gets commented on...
Mr. Doctor - 01.12.2011 at 22:04  
Written by Xnoybis on 01.12.2011 at 21:59

we're just the few, the proud, those that get it.

that and i receive notifications when this gets commented on...


Nah dude... I'll bet that most people who enjoyed this album ended up in the corners of their attic doing nothing... Feeling nothing.

So... you get two notifications if I quote you AND if I post here?
Xnoybis - 01.12.2011 at 22:07  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 01.12.2011 at 22:04

Written by Xnoybis on 01.12.2011 at 21:59

we're just the few, the proud, those that get it.

that and i receive notifications when this gets commented on...


Nah dude... I'll bet that most people who enjoyed this album ended up in the corners of their attic doing nothing... Feeling nothing.

So... you get two notifications if I quote you AND if I post here?


i get notifications for new posts as Thread activity notifications.

i get quote notifications as a quote notification...

so i got a notification when fuckface commented - but not when you quoted each other.
vezzy - 01.12.2011 at 22:20  
Uber fuckface reporting to say that I enjoyed this album, but have never bothered commenting on it or the band in general.
3rdWorldFuckface - 01.12.2011 at 23:57  
Written by Xnoybis on 01.12.2011 at 19:26
"Ministry is the soundtrack to the end of the world... if the end of the world is a giant party. Godflesh is the soundtrack to the end of the world if we all die cold, miserable and alone." Or something to that effect.


well i haven't checked out any ministry record yet.... i've just heard some tracks on land of rape and honey and found them pretty boring. maybe i shud go back and check them out now. But i dont think i m gonna get likened to it much. Ministry never interested me to b honest.
Xnoybis - 02.12.2011 at 22:56  
Written by Guest on 01.12.2011 at 23:57

Written by Xnoybis on 01.12.2011 at 19:26
"Ministry is the soundtrack to the end of the world... if the end of the world is a giant party. Godflesh is the soundtrack to the end of the world if we all die cold, miserable and alone." Or something to that effect.


well i haven't checked out any ministry record yet.... i've just heard some tracks on land of rape and honey and found them pretty boring. maybe i shud go back and check them out now. But i dont think i m gonna get likened to it much. Ministry never interested me to b honest.


depends what you listened to... their albums with me have always been full of hit and miss tracks. some awesome, some just means time to hit skip.

Stigmata - from Land of Rape And Honey - 1988

Burning Inside - The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste - 1989

Thieves - live version off In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up - 1990. originally off The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. Shame i couldn't find the live video version...
Angelic Storm - 02.12.2011 at 23:06  
I remember hearing this album once in the early 90's, and being left totally numb by it...
3rdWorld - 16.01.2012 at 06:26  
Well thanks to BitterCOld for getting me into Godflesh through this review.If i gotta pick a single track from this as my fav, it wud be "Mighty Trush krusher".Now i'm gonna check out all of their other records too..... clearly this isnt the industrial metal i'm used to from the 90's. More of a doom/drone record(for lack of better words).
Lit. - 26.12.2012 at 22:04  
More thanks to BC for making me check out this album. Absolutely petrifying, like being locked up in a basement with nothing sound of a chainsaw being warmed up by the girl who brought you over to her house for a one-night stand and decided she wanted to kill and dismember you just for the hell of it.
I loved the drums, especially on Pulp.
Illog1cal - 10.01.2013 at 18:40  
The minimalist construction of the music is so well done. I like the way they use small phrases and drive them into your brain until you feel what they feel about society, the title track 'Streetcleaner' is a good example.
Mr. Doctor - 10.01.2013 at 20:27  
Written by Angelic Storm on 02.12.2011 at 23:06
I remember hearing this album once in the early 90's, and being left totally numb by it...


Is that good or bad?
Angelic Storm - 10.01.2013 at 21:34  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 10.01.2013 at 20:27
Is that good or bad?


Well, the fact it's stuck in my memory all these years later, despite only ever listening to it in it's entirety once, probably means it was a very eye opening experience for me musically.

I was very young when I first listened to it, so I do wonder what I would make of it now if I listened to it again. I do remember it being a very abrasive, harsh album, and definitely not typical metal. It was a bit freaky, for sure!
Mr. Doctor - 10.01.2013 at 22:01  
Written by Angelic Storm on 10.01.2013 at 21:34

I was very young when I first listened to it, so I do wonder what I would make of it now if I listened to it again. I do remember it being a very abrasive, harsh album, and definitely not typical metal. It was a bit freaky, for sure!


Well, I heard it when I was 14-15. I can only agree with your words and still do to this day. Abrasive and still as original. Listening to more contemporary bands only make this album more important.
Slayer666 - 11.01.2013 at 12:14  
Aaaaand for some reason I'll never comprehend, I still haven't listened to this one. Gonna have to do it ASAP.
Angelic Storm - 11.01.2013 at 15:48  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 10.01.2013 at 22:01
Well, I heard it when I was 14-15. I can only agree with your words and still do to this day. Abrasive and still as original. Listening to more contemporary bands only make this album more important.


That was also when I heard it. Original it most certainly was, and it still is. All these years later, I still haven't heard another album quite like that one. I'll need to listen to it again soon, just to see how different the listening experience is now that I'm older and more experienced musically.

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