Make this your 2nd TG purchase, but this is an important CD
Winthrop Harrison | Seattle, WA United States | 09/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's only right to warn potential customers that most of this CD is pretty dodgy when it comes to recording quality. Some of these tracks were recorded on cassette tape, plenty of bootlegs sound better than this. Of course, this band was never big on pleasing consumers anyway. The duff sound may actually improve the album. Instead of being the loud assault of TG's other records, the general mood and sound remind me of three things. 1) The feeling of being in a closet hearing disturbing sounds you can't quite define and becoming scared as hell. 2) the sonic and aesthetic influence of Stanley Kubrick, Wendy Carlos and Pink Floyd - this CD is not so different from the sound FX in 'Umugumma' or even the (very) few decent Tangerine Dream records. 3) I think this CD captures the basic schizophrenia of the only worthwhile 'Industrial' band. Was TG scary or silly? Earnest or pulling pranks? Is this band's music a brave uncompromising look at a cold loveless world? Or is it a very outre and somewhat sly psychedelic detour? Perhaps Throbbing Gristle could be all of these things. Although I wouldn't advise this CD as the first purchase in any Gristle collection ('DOA-Third & Final Report...' would be a better choice), make this your second buy. And for anyone who says you can't be lulled to sleep by this band, the 20 minutes of "After Cease to Exist" will prove you wrong. For better or worse, we'll never see another band like this."
First effort buzz
DAC Crowell | 01/27/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first above-ground release by Throbbing Gristle. There was a prior cassette-only release that sometimes one sees as a bootleg ("Music From the Death Factory" is the title sometimes applied to this release), but this was the first taste everyone got. And it's a rather unpleasant taste. The first half consists of different versions of varying audio quality of two tracks, plus a concert intro, and while some versions of this work, others are just unpleasant sludge. Granted, this does play into TG's industrial aesthetic, but at the same time one thinks better material could have been chosen. Especially in the light of the second half, which contains the brilliant soundtrack for 'After Cease to Exist'. Some 'electronica' wag a few years back coined the term 'illbient'. This tag much more applies here. A strange meander of odd noises, drones, bleak atmospherics...this is the real show on the release. The 7" tracks 'United' and 'Zyklon B Zombie' are also on here, the former being the unlikely 'hit' that brought TG to the fore during the heyday of the UK punk scene. Not easy listening, and not a good start point, but worthwhile for those into TG's sound."
Not their most, but still a founding first effort
Humberto Mejia | Perth, Australia | 11/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Luis Mejia - Throbbing Gristle's The Second Annual Report was, at least in release order, their first concrete work as a band and maybe the first so called "industrial" album to exist. Through the listens of same-named songs and few cohersive avant-garde electronic inclinations, it's notorious for any advanced listener how the album differs from awesome pieces like D.O.A. and Jazz Funk Greats; it's less scary, a little more compelling, and almost completely anti-melodic. Here the music is softly palpable, the uneasy, sampled sounds sleaze through your mind, but even less bombastic. Sure this may be a great piece in the experimental music collector, but the high points of the album are the very first piece of "Slug Bait", the sluggish and heavy "Zyclon B Zombie", the crude satire of the 'hopeful' "United", and still "After Cease To Exist", a nearly progressive 20 min piece witch encompasses everything from the feeling of a dead corpse. Don't get fooled, their music is an extremely confrontational art expression all in a trash bin of sound pieces, but the sweetness of this band is that they generally leave us with the doubt if the music is an excuse for insanity..."
PANDORAS BOX INEVITABLE
J. NOBLES | DAYTONA BEACH, FL United States | 09/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WHEN COUM TRANSMISSIONS(THE CONTROVERSIAL EXHIBITION ART COLLECTIVE MASTERMINDED BY GENESIS P-ORRIDGE)MORPHED INTO THE SOUND EXPRESSIONIST GROUP HERE(T.G.),THE SLEEPY WORLD AT LARGE WAS THERE TO SCRATCH ITS HEAD.?WHAT THE HELL..!?I WON'T GO INTO GREAT BIOGRAPHY AS IT IS WELL CHRONICLED ALL OVER THE WEB AND PRY ALL OVER THE AMAZON REVIEWS FOR THEIR CDS TO AN EXTENT BUT I WILL GIVE YOU AN INFORMED OPINION WHY YOU SHOULD SNATCH THIS UP AND I'M ONE MUSIC COLLECTOR WITH LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF RECORDINGS.MUSICALLY THE SOUNDS OF THE SYNTH-WORK ON HERE WERE WAY AHEAD OF THEIR TIME.STUFF NEVER EXPLORED AND TO THIS DAY NEVER REALLY GONE INTO MUCH.THE GUITARIST BUCKETHEAD HAS DID SOME REAL SIMILAR STUFF ON GUITAR IN RECENT YEARS ONCE IN A WHILE BUT..THEY WERE AS BOLD AND CONTROVERSIAL AS YOU COULD EVER BE EVEN TO THIS DAY.FEARLESS IT WOULD SEEM.READY TO CHALLENGE PEOPLE'S MINDS AND TEST THEM.FIND WHAT MAKES THEM TICK AND PUSH THE BUTTONS AND CRUTCHES GOVERNMENT AND FOOLS EVERYWHERE LIKE TO HIDE BEHIND.SIMILAR TO WHAT FRANK ZAPPA DID YET NOT SO IMMERSED IN ORCHESTRATION,MUSIC THEORY AND ALL.I GOTTA SPLIT..SO,YOUR WAY BEHIND THE T.G TIMES SO CHECK IT OUT.MUCH BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.PLUS THEY JUST REFORMED AND HAVE A NEW CD,SOME GIGS.DVD RELEASES.IS'NT IT THRILLING TO BE ALIVE..WHEN ZAPPA DIED I HAD A DREAD OF LIVING IN A WORLD WITHOUT PEOPLE LIKE FRANK; IN SUCH CORRUPT,PHONY TIMES BUT I'M UNFORTUNATELY HAVING TO DEAL WITH IT. T.G. ARE IMPORTANT!"