Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Industrial Espionage

The early '90s, apparently, was the heyday of the "let's start our album with a bunch of sampled industrial noise" phenomenon. I guess I had kinda picked up on that before, but it recently gobsmacked me between the peepers when I sat down to blaze through a stack of classic Earache records. It's like sort of the Opposite Day equivalent of ending your album with a really slow song that probably doesn't need to be there.
Case in point, Napalm Death indulge in "Discordance," kicking off my favorite Barney-era album, Utopia Banished.

Dragging it out for 85 seconds is probably uncalled for when slamming straight into "I Abstain" would have been far more effective, but I'm not here to review 20 year old album choices but a British institution content to take a few more victory laps around former glories.
No, I'm here to pick on Carcass and Brutal Truth. Because what really struck me during my Earache binge is that Carcass and Brutal Truth kicked off Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious and Need to Control, respectively, with industrialized samples that sound like close enough kin that a wedding license for the two would be unlawful anywhere other than Alabama.
First off, I'll admit they're not perfectly identical, but they have the same crushing kind of vibe to them.
Let's start with Carcass ' "Inpropagation," which tees up 1991's Necroticism with a sound like a small hill giant in soccer cleats stomping over a blabbing bit about forensics.

Three years later Brutal Truth would go to the same well for 1994's Need to Control. Opener "Collapse" was a sludgy trudge that gets going with booming industrial sounds similar to Necroticism. Boom. Boom. Chsssk. Chsssk. Boom. Boom. Chsssk. Chsssk. It's the grindcore equivalent of Jason Voorhees' stalking noises.


As I said, it's not identical, but when I had the two albums teed up back to back, it was close enough to give me pause. I find this fascinating because, as you may recall, I noticed Brutal Truth may have been stealing Carcass' mail when they wrote the song "Regression/Progression." That opening drum and bass bit sounds, at least to my ears, an awful lot like the intro to Carcass' "Ruptured in Purulence." So to find Brutal Truth trailing a second Carcass-ism was especially intriguing.
As Pablo Picasso (and possibly T.S. Elliot and Oscar Wilde) is alleged to have observed, good artists borrow; great artists steal.


gamefaced said...

all these dudes were just tryina be skinny puppy is all.

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

You meant Kentucky, damnit!

I demand satisfaction, SIR. *slap*

Those do sound similar. I had never noticed it, because I usually sort of zone out until the song starts on Necroticism. I do really enjoy how Need starts, though.

Weird since they're so similar.

amalgamated fishhooks said...

they were channeling their inner godflesh (still on earache at the time). the discordance bass screams g.c. green.

Andrew Childers said...

sir, as a descendant of people smart enough to leave kentucky i.... well i really can't dispute that. perhaps we just agree we all hate mississippi instead?

it's almost like he picked alabama on purpose... like he was ... trolling? nahhhh couldn't be.

Perpetual Strife said...

I really liked the intro the Self Hate's In the Beginning...God Created Pancakes. Reminds me a lot of Brutal Truth

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

You'd pick on Alabama just to get a rise outta little ol' me?

Well, now, I'm flattered! Forget all that duelin' business and have a sour mash on me, brother.

Andrew Childers said...

you're right, strife. i missed one. good catch..

also. pancake. mmmmmm. *drool*